Monday, December 3, 2012

31 Performances Ripe for Rediscovery (29) Rosanna Arquette in NOBODY'S FOOL (1986)

"It's just me Cassie Stoolie, it's just me...it's...just...me."



In his original two-star review of Evelyn Purcell’s 1986 comedic drama, Nobody’s Fool critic Roger Ebert wrote of the film’s star Rosanna Arquette:

“Her name is Cassie, and she is played by Rosanna Arquette, who is one of my favorite actresses, but who is best when she plays against her inclinations. Cassie is perhaps too close to an idea she has of herself, and so we don't feel enough pain in those early scenes. She seems odd, rather than suffering.”

Arquette was also one of my favorite actresses back in 1986 as well but, unlike Ebert, I greatly admired her work in Nobody’s Fool and more than twenty-five years later it remains one of my favorite performances from my high school years.  Cassie might not be the strongest role Rosanna Arquette has been given in her long and prolific career (convincing arguments could be made for Baby it’s You, Desperately Seeking Susan, After Hours and Life Lessons,as they are certainly all ‘better’ films than Nobody’s Fool) but I find it to be one of the purest in the sense that I feel like it plays to all of Arquette’s really distinctive strengths.

Rosanna’s ability to channel women experiencing a life and spiritual crisis is uncanny and the disgraced Cassie is certainly one of the most neurotic creations a modern American actor has given us in the past several decades.  One can only imagine how many awards would be sitting on Rosanna Arquette’s shelf had she started her career in the early seventies (as opposed to the early eighties) when American film really embraced studies of fragmented personalities and lost souls.

Nobody’s Fool might not be the best film Rosanna Arquette ever made but her work in it encapsulates everything I love about her…disarmingly funny, unapologetically sexy and resoundingly moving, there still hasn’t been anyone else quite like Rosanna Arquette and I remain as touched by her best work as I was more than thirty years ago when I first discovered it in my teens. 

-Jeremy Richey, 2012-

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