Cookie's Fortune is one of those films that never gets much publicity but manages to hit the big time theaters and stay out for a surprisingly long amount of time. I had heard nothing about this film except that it was good - I did not even know who was in it, let alone what the film was about. But it has an all star cast, a good story, and interesting characters.
Glenn Close, Liv Tyler, Chris O'Donnell, Charles Dutton, and Julianne Moore are the stars of the movie, and strong performances come from each and every actor. I have never been exceptionally interested in Close, but when she plays the bad guy, I can't miss it. She has done 101 Dalmations as Cruela Deville, and her character is no less nasty in Cookie's Fortune. She plays the best bitch in the whole wide world. Furthermore, Liv Tyler continues to increase her foothold on the industry, playing her movies selectively. Armageddon gives her status; all of her other movies, smaller movies with better scripts, shows her skill. And she's beautiful. Chris O'Donnell, who hasn't really appeared in many things since the flop Batman and Robin, has a small role as the bumbling deputy sheriff (and Liv's lover), and Julianne Moore is Glenn Close's slow sister, who, though having a reasonably small part in the film, plays a major part in the ending. And then there's Charles Dutton, who provides an extremely strong performance, equaling Close's.
Cookie's Fortune's plot is quite simple: In the tradition of movies such as A Simple Plan, an old woman named Cookie commits suicide and her wicked niece, played by Glenn Close, tries to make it appear as a murder so that her family will be excused the humility, and so that she might acquire some money. But Cookie's Fortune isn't really about murder or suicide. It's a character drama. The character's relationships progress and transform throughout the movie, especially when family ties begin to become revealed.
The ending is great. Julianne Moore does a brutal double cross, but it isn't clear whether it is intentional or accidental. Did she say what she says because she's sort of stupid, or that her stupidity has just been an act to cover up an agenda of her own? That's what the movie leaves you with.
Now, since you have no clue what I'm talking about, you better go out and rent the movie, because Cookie's Fortune is definitely worth seeing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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