(On Cable TV, June 2019) For an actor that was once so vital to American cinema, it’s surprising to realize after the fact that Paul Newman essentially retired in the nineties, with a total of five films during that decade: At the exception of Road to Perdition, his twenty-first century career was low-key—voice acting, TV movies, smaller roles, this kind of thing. So, it’s a bit of a surprise to discover Nobody’s Fool as one of his parting lead roles, a small-town character-driven drama focused entirely on his character. Newman’s filmography is not the only one being enhanced by Nobody’s Fool—he plays opposite a cross-generational ensemble cast that includes a prime-era Bruce Willis, one of Jessica Tandy’s last roles, as well as turns for Melanie Griffith (who hilariously flashes her breasts to Newman’s character) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (as a policeman, no less). Willis, in particular, is almost a revelation for those who have grown used to his increasingly detached screen persona—here he is playing a now-unfamiliar character—loose, funny and engaged. Still, the show belongs to Newman: In a revealing contrast to his earlier, sullen roles, the bad boy of Hud and The Prize and Cool Hand Luke has mellowed into an elderly actor playing an elderly man who has found contentment in a simple life. It does complement the small-town charm of the film, albeit one tempered by a depressing snowy atmosphere and the very down-to-earth portrait of flawed characters. There’s more nudity than you’d think from a “small-town intimate drama.” Still, Nobody’s Fool remains a bit more interesting than expected—and not just as a lesser-known title on multiple filmographies.