The Hittman Chronicle

Nobody's Fool

"Doesn't it bother you that you haven't done more with the life God gave you?"
"Not often. Now and then."


Nobody paid much attention to this movie when it came out in 1994. It's a prefect little movie about life in a dying town in Upstate New York. Paul Newman is Sully, a man wandering somewhat aimlessly through his life. The townspeople include Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, and Melanie Griffith, who all wear their roles like a comfortable flannel shirt.

The attitude in the town is a rather laid back one - no one is in much of a hurry because nobody is going anywhere. Sully is the glue that helps hold the town together - life there would really suck if it weren't for him.

The best movies are full of interesting characters with their own stories to resolve and their own demons to wrestle. Sully has to deal with his long ignored son showing up with a family of his own, as well as a bum leg and memories of a rotten childhood. Toby (Griffith) is trying to deal with her husband's chronic infidelity, partly by incessantly flirting with Sully. Carl (Willis), the big fish in a small pond, would be the bad guy if he weren't such a likable schmuck. Sully's landlord, Miss Beryl (Tandy) is coming to grips with the fact that the Lord is coming for her, and getting closer with each attempt, as well as the conflict between Sully and her son. There's also the incompetent deputy and the wise old judge, the best friend, the one legged lawyer, the good grandkid, the rotten grandkid and the Doberman. Even the snow blower seems to take on a personally as Sully and Carl take turns stealing it back and forth from each other.

The result is a movie that feels authentic - even the sound of the snow crunching underfoot is just right. You'll have to dig in the back bins for this one, but it's worth the effort. It's the perfect movie to curl up and enjoy while the snow swirls outside.

Gratuitous Nudity Toby gives Sully an unexpected flash that will have you reaching for the rewind button, and Bruce flaunts his girlfriend at a poker game.

© 2001 Dave Hitt

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