Saturday, March 12, 2011

1994: Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is not smart, and many people call him stupid, but he tries not to let that get him down.  As he goes through life, he witnesses many historic events - actually causing some of them - and ends up becoming very successful financially.  But the only thing he really wants is for Jenny, his childhood best friend and the love of his life, to settle down with him.

I absolutely love this movie.  It's a touching story told remarkably well, with perfectly developed characters and witty dialogue.  Forrest's narration throughout the film helps put an entirely new perspective on familiar situations, which makes this movie unique.  Tom Hanks is positively brilliant as Forrest.  His costume and haircut help create the image, but Hanks makes the character real.  He thoroughly earned his Oscar.  And of course there's the rest of the cast.  Gary Sinise is amazing in his intense portrayal of Forrest's commanding officer, "Lieutenant Dan,"  who loses his legs in Vietnam.  Sally Field, while she's not in too many scenes, is the perfect Mama for Forrest, and Robin Wright gives a heartbreaking performance as the troubled, messed up Jenny.  It's fun to see a very young Haley Joel Osment make an appearance as well.

A lot of people say this film shouldn't have won Best Picture because The Shawshank Redemption was better.  I can't speak to that because I haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption yet, but I will say that Forrest Gump is a really, really good movie, and it's also uplifting, so I was more than happy for an excuse to watch it.  Forrest is one of my favorite movie characters ever.  He's so incredibly likeable and adorable that I have to think the world would be a better place with more Forrest Gumps in it.  Naturally, it doesn't hurt that he's played by Tom Hanks, who is one of the most fabulous living actors.  This film combines great characters with good acting, a fascinating premise, an intriguing script, and a fantastic soundtrack.  If The Shawshank Redemption is better than this, I can't wait to watch it someday.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Next: Braveheart

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