Cookie’s Fortune

Rated 4.0 Robert Altman directed this earthy, gently comic tale of death and family dysfunction that is set in a contemporary Mississippi hamlet. The film’s cozy Mayberry sense of community is spiced up with the inclusion of African-American citizens, suggested bouts of sex at the sheriff’s office and the exhumation of dark family secrets. A coverup of Aunt Jewel Mae “Cookie” Orcutt’s suicide leads to a murder investigation as the town rehearses for a presentation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at the local church. The superb ensemble at play here includes Charles S. Dutton, Liv Tyler, Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty, Chris O’Donnell and Lyle Lovett.