Feel-good Fortune

Altman's back with a strong Southern drama

Close, of course, can portray such a character to perfection; Cruella De Vil has nothing on Camille. The downside is that Close is almost too effective: Her character is so vile that it's hard, for the middle third of the movie, to watch her triumphantly wreaking havoc on everyone's lives. I was so overwrought at the sight of this horrible creature that I almost wanted to walk out. As it turns out, that would have been a mistake: By its end Cookie's Fortune has revealed itself as, well, a feel-good movie. But the extreme awfulness of Close's character can really prove a trial for delicate sensibilities.

Cookie's Fortune.
Rated R.
Directed by Robert Altman. With Charles Dutton, Liv Tyler, Patricia Neal, Glenn Close, Chris O'Donnell and Julianne Moore.

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