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No new wines to recommend this week (sorry…it's been all work, no play). But we do have a terrific movie to recommend.

"The Cooler" is a great little movie about the nature of luck and love, starring William H. Macy as a "cooler" who works in a Las Vegas casino. He has such bad luck that his sole job is to rub up against anybody who is winning, instantly bringing them bad luck. Alex Baldwin plays his boss, a man who is simultaneously slimy and principled (albeit to his own strange code of behavior), violent and sentimental. It's not for nothing that Baldwin got a nomination as "best supporting actor" for this performance - it's breathtaking, and a reminder that he is one of our generation's best actors. And Maria Bello, who plays a casino waitress with whom Macy's character falls in love, thereby threatening his run of bad luck, holds her own with Baldwin and the always excellent Macy.

The plot is simple, and yet filled with twists and turns. There are flashes of violence from which you'll want to shut your eyes or turn your head.

But this is easily one of 2003's best movies.
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