Director: Robert Benton
It's been decades since I've seen Nobody's Fool (1994), but it's a movie I saw in the theater twice and a few times after. I recalled feeling weirdly and profoundly moved by the film and was unsure how it would sit as I'm closer to the main character's age than the grandson's age at this point.
On first blush, the movie could be read as some smalltown schmaltz, but reviews of the time were overwhelmingly positive and reflect a lot of how I felt about the film at the time. It takes place within the kind of small town romanticized by politicians in ads, of Main Streets and "working people", but it's also frank that small towns are kind of hard, that it's not always the pathway to the achievement of the American Dream and when you know everyone in your town, it can get weird.*
To that end, it's a reminder of a kind of film you don't see as often these days as it's a quiet, thoughtful ensemble film where actors seem to be enjoying the work, a few name Hollywood types playing supporting roles just to be there, in the mix with up-and-comers and character veterans. Of course, anchored by one of the best of the post 1950 American cinema, Paul Newman, still handsome and better than ever when it comes to what he does, which is say a thousand words with a glance or even in stillness.