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Cookie's Fortune (1999)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 6,862

My Rating

Movie Info

Robert Altman directed this bittersweet ensemble piece about an eccentric and entangled group of family and friends living in the Deep South. Jewel Mae "Cookie" Orcutt (Patricia Neal) is the widowed matriarch of a small-town Mississippi family, which includes her nieces Camille (Glenn Close), a pretentious would-be artist staging an amateur production of Salome at a local church, and Cora Julianne Moore), her less than enthusiastic leading lady. Willis (Charles S. Dutton), the caretaker of


Drama, Comedy

Anne Rapp

May 1, 2001

USA Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (8) | DVD (9)

Most of what transpires is low-key, affectionate comedy and a fair amount of fun.

July 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cookie's Fortune is a wittily diagrammed portrait of a small town shaken to its roots by this deceptive calamity. The movie, though, never really becomes more than a diagram.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The deceptively modest Cookie's Fortune may or not be Robert Altman's best film in years, but it is certainly his most pleasurable.

January 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's so distinctively charming is the easygoing tone, which manages to turn black comedy into a strangely gentle, touching and delicate affair.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cookie's Fortune is Robert Altman's sunniest film, a warm-hearted comedy that somehow manages to deal with death and murder charges without even containing a real villain.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One well-telegraphed disclosure is heartwarmingly self-congratulatory, the other genealogical bombshell totally inconsequential.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This serio comedy about an eccentric Southern family is a minor work in Altman's oeuvre, but it's well acted and enjoyable.

August 10, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Despite several silly twists near the end, the acting is quite charming.

July 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4

This isn't great Altman but it's fun Altman.

July 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Despite some lovely performances (though, sad to say, Patricia Neal's isn't one of them) and charming moments, this meandering ensemble piece and its Tennessee Williams-ish finale is oddly out of character.

July 21, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

[An] earthy, gently comic tale of death and family dysfunction.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Legendary director Robert Altman gives us a crime movie that somehow makes an old story seem fresh and funny.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The perfect melding of story, characters, actors and behind the camera talent, all under the expert control of Altman.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Everyone loves a good murder mystery. And with a distinguished director like Robert Altman at the helm, and with talent like Glenn Close, Patricia Neal, Charles Dutton, Ned Beatty, and Julianne Moore, it would be hard to miss.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

A charming, quirky tale of small-town intrigue featuring a crackerjack cast.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Though it's the screen equivalent of cotton candy,"Fortune" is made with a very high grade of sugar.

June 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

There's no major message in this Cookie, only a fortune that reads, "You will have a good time."

March 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

The old energy and bite may be lacking, but at least this lazy, amiable shaggy-dog story was made in the same freewheeling, idiosyncratic way as Altman's best work.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

A relaxed and aimiable Southern gothic comedy of manners.

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Enough twists and turns to satisfy the most diehard mystery lover, as well as memorable characters and funny dialog for those of us who need a little more.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It's a God's eye point-of-view that often doesn't work because having all the answers in advance can drain the picture of its intensity, but somehow Altman manages to pick up most of the slack with eccentric characters and dark, farcical humor.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

This film embodies the easy pace of southern life and has the usual assortment of goofy, but lovable characters.

January 1, 2001 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for Cookie's Fortune

Nothing amazing but a solid small town dramedy/mystery that's well acted and amusing. I haven't seen most of Altman's work before but this seems very much his style from what I've seen.
May 15, 2011

Super Reviewer

This isn't Altman's best, but having said that Altman is also easily one of my favourite directors - so even when he is not at his best, he never fails to entertain. And entertaining this is, a quirky, very Southern comedy with endearing characters. Julianne Moore is hilarious as the slightly loopy sister, Glenn Close is simply superb in her over-the-top performance. Unfortunately, Liv Tyler is almost equally as bad as the others are great. The story sometimes is not as smooth as it could be, but the eccentric characters and the atmosphere of a small Southern town is what makes this a great and fun film.
September 6, 2008

Super Reviewer

A favorite!
November 9, 2007
Leo L

Super Reviewer

    1. Jack Palmer: He died alright about four years later in Alabama, in a button factory accident.
    2. Emma Duvall: A button factory?
    3. Camille Orcutt: Seems the hole poker machine broke loose and fell on him. He had 273 holes in him before they could get it off.
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
    1. Willis Richland: Well, if anybody's hungry, I got some stuff at home for catfish enchiladas.
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
    1. Lester Boyle: I'll bet the farm that Willis doesn't have AB negative blood.
    2. Otis Tucker: Now how do you know that?
    3. Lester Boyle: Cause I've fished with him.
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
    1. Lester Boyle: Break an arm!
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
    1. Josie Martin: We people who are in the bar busies, we don't spend much time looking a the clock on the wall. We do what we do best-drinking and burying the blues.
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
    1. Willis Richland: Every family got someone whose got a screw loose.
    – Submitted by Frances H (17 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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