Idol Chatter

nobodysfoolpaulnewmandvd.jpgI said earlier this week that I would recommend my favorite Paul Newman movie as my DVD Pick of the Week in remembrance of the great actor. “Nobody’s Fool ” is not only my favorite Newman movie, but it is one of my all-time favorite movies of the 90s. However, despite Newman’s Oscar nomination for his role as Sully–a cranky, stubborn, yet infinitely lovable loser–this movie remains a largely undiscovered movie treasure. It is smart, funny, heartwarming, and one of the best modern stories about second chances that I have seen. I suppose I should warn you that it definitely deserves its R rating in a few scenes, but other than that, I can’t imagine any reason why you shouldn’t rush out and rent this gem of a film.

Sully lives in a small town in upstate New York and rents a room from a kindly old school teacher played by Jessica Tandy. Though Sully is getting on in years, he has never amounted to much. He works odd jobs and hangs out in the local bar occasionally playing poker. He also walked out on his son when he divorced the boy’s mother years ago, and must face the consequences as his son returns with his own family to live in the same town.
In spite of Sully’s variety of character flaws, he can’t help but take care of some of the town’s more eccentric citizens including a lawyer with a wooden leg, a mentally disabled man named Rub, and a neighbor with dementia. But the one person he wants to connect with the most is his son and that proves to be a bigger challenge than Sully expects. As Sully tries to repair the damage he has done to his relationship with his son, he must also wrestle with the demons from his own relationship with his father.
All of this could make for a pretty sappy movie, but in the hands of Newman, it is a restrained, memorable portrait of one man’s impact on his community as he finally opens up his heart. Doesn’t that sound so very much like Newman himself?

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