“Jean Arthur, The Nonconformist”

At Criterion, Kim Morgan writes about Jean Arthur. “Arthur plays drunk to perfection [in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington]. The entire scene is brilliantly executed, performed with flawless comic timing, by both actors. She’s got to be comical while not being so ridiculous that the moment is simply about her being drunk. She’s got to reveal her vulnerabilities while remaining tough (trying to, anyway), spilling her guts while keeping a rein on her feelings (but also not). It would be a hard scene for any actor to pull off, and Jean Arthur, she of sublime contradictions, does it so beautifully, and with such simultaneous naturalness and precision, that you cannot imagine anyone else delivering these lines.”

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