Plot[change | change source]
Unlucky Bernie Lootz doesn't have much good going for him. He lives in a dreary place: a studio apartment in a run-down motel next to the Las Vegas Strip. He cannot recall the last time he had physical contact with a woman. He's in debt to Shangri-La casino boss Shelly Kaplow. Kaplow cured Lootz' habit by breaking his kneecap. Kaplow had also paid Lootz' casino debts. Lootz' debt is nearly paid off.
Lootz is not satisfied with the casino business. He tells Kaplow he is leaving Las Vegas soon. But his future success as a luck "cooler" is changed when he meets cocktail waitress Natalie Belisario. She becomes interested in him. Lootz' luck. His luck, and the luck of those around him, take turns for the better.
What Lootz doesn't know yet is that Shelly may have paid Natalie to seduce him into staying and working for Shangri-La. What Shelly doesn't know is Natalie has fallen in love with Lootz, and vice versa.
Other complications hit when Shelly, a relative old-timer, resists efforts from new Shangri-La owner advisers who want to update the casino hotel property and bring the hotel into the 21st century.
Cast[change | change source]
- William H. Macy as Bernard "Bernie" Lootz
- Alec Baldwin as Sheldon "Shelly" Kaplow
- Maria Bello as Natalie Belisario
- Shawn Hatosy as Michael "Mikey" Lootz
- Ron Livingston as Larry Sokolov
- Paul Sorvino as Buddy Stafford
- Estella Warren as Charlotte
- Arthur J. Nascarella as Nicky "Fingers" Bonnatto
- Joey Fatone as Johnny Cappella
- Ellen Greene as Doris
- MC Gainey as Highway Patrol Officer
- Michelle Lopez as the Red Headed Craps Player "cooled" by Bernie
- Timothy Landfield as The Player
Production[change | change source]
The movie was first shown at Sundance Film Festival. The Cooler was also shown at the Cannes Film Festival, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and the Deauville Film Festival. It later went into limited release in the United States. During the limited release, it was shown mainly in Reno, Nevada.
Reception[change | change source]
The Cooler got generally positive reviews from movie critics. The movie review website Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a %77 "Certified Fresh" rating based on 171 reviews. On the Metacritic, the movie is rated 69/100 based on 36 reviews, meaning "generally positive reviews."
Movie critic Peter Travers gave The Cooler three-and-a-half stars.
Rating[change | change source]
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave the movie an NC-17 rating for a scene in which the pubic hair of Maria Bello was shown during a sex scene. An edited R-rated version was shown in theaters. A director's cut was broadcast by Cinemax and Independent Film Channel.
Awards and nominations[change | change source]
- National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Baldwin, winner)
- Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture (Maria Bello, winner)
- Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, winner)
- Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, winner)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Baldwin, nominee)
- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture (Bello, nominee)
- Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama (William H. Macy, nominee)
- Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
- Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay (Frank Hannah and Wayne Kramer, nominees)
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (Baldwin, nominee)
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (Bello, nominee)