The cooler is a bit difficult to categorize. It’s a dark film, containing violence, romance, and improbable situations set in an old school Las Vegas Casino.
William H. Macy, plays Bernie, the lovable loser trying to get out of his debt with old fashioned gangster, Shelly (played by Alec Baldwin). The two work very well together. There is chemistry and it shows as it’s clear that it’s the performance and well written story that carries the film in its entirety. Actress. Maria Bello (Natalie), also plays Bernie’s love interest and her role is well done, as well as adding motivation to the Bernie character.
The story is abou a Cooler. Someone whose luck is so bd, that it ubs off on to others, which is a good thing for a casino to have. Bernie is one of these Coolers, and he works for Shelly who runs the Shangri-La, an old school Casino with mobster’s ties.
William H. Macy is very good at playing hapless characters. It’s almost as if Macy shows us a lot about his personal self which helps bring legitimacy and truth in the performance. The cooler is a movie about performance then story telling. It’s not main a mainstream film, so many will probably pass it by ,which would be unfortunate as the movie is pretty interesting, despite it’s hard to believe, improbable ending.