Capital Celluloid 2021 — Day 51: Tue Jul 6

Cookie's Fortune (Altman, 1999): BFI Southbank, NFT1, 2.50pm

Rarely seen Robert Altman film in the director's season which also screens on July 7th and 27th. You can find all the details here.

Time Out review:
Holly Springs, Mississippi. Snooty aesthete Camille (Glenn Close) is off to rehearse her Easter am-dram production of Wilde's Salome. First, however, she and her downtrodden sister Cora (Julianne Moore) must drop in on eccentric aunt Cookie (Patricia Neal). When Camille finds the old lady dead in bed, she persuades Cora it couldn't possibly be suicide (such disgrace!), steals a necklace to make it look like murder, and then lets Cookie's loyal caretaker/companion Willis (Charles S. Dutton) take the rap. Not that cop Lester (Ned Beatty) believes his fishing pal should be behind bars, any more than do the town's only lawyer (Donald Moffat) or Cora's rebellious daughter Emma (Liv Tyler). Altman's mercurial film is a mesmerising jewel that works its magic as soon as the faintly shaky opening scenes are over. It may not be 'about' very much (friendship, loyalty, love, self-knowledge), and it'd be too easy just to praise the excellent performances of the typically eccentric cast. Rather, what's so distinctively charming is the easygoing tone, which manages to turn black comedy into a strangely gentle, touching and delicate affair.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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