Tom Hanks is the second of only two actors ever to win back to back Oscars. Just let that sink in for a second. The first was for Philadelphia, and was well deserved. The second was for Forrest Gump, and was just as deserved as his previous Oscar, though for many different reasons. Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis, is a wonder of a film, both in how it was made and the end product that was made.
Hanks rightfully earns all the glory here with his portrayal of the simple-minded Gump, but the rest of the players deserve mention as well. Gary Sinise gives by far the performance of his career as the now iconic Lieutenant Dan, and Robin Wright holds the film together as Gump’s pervasive love interest, Jenny. What is often overlooked is the Oscar-winning visual effects in this film; so much effort went into inserting Gump throughout American history, as well as remove Gary Sinise’s legs, and none of that effort was wasted. Gump’s story travels across the nation and across an era, and punches the nostalgia button for just about every viewer, even if they didn’t live through the times Gump lives through; that’s the effect this film has.
Forrest Gump went on to win Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Screenplay at the Academy Awards, among others, and became the fourth-highest grossing film of all time at the time it was released. There’s a lot of hype behind this film, and to some it may not have aged well due to all the cultural references it packs in. I disagree; I like the film as much as the first time I saw it, and I enjoy watching Gump criss-cross his way through history and America. It’s quaint, and charming, in the same way Gump himself is quaint and charming. If you haven’t seen this yet, make the time to do so, and I’m almost certain you’ll end up liking it as well.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10