Tom Hanks has enjoyed a career that has spanned over thirty years and seen him tackle a wide range of different movies and characters. Despite all of the success that he has achieved, there is one role that he will forever by synonymous with... and that is Forrest Gump.
Hard to believe, but 2014 saw Forrest Gump celebrate its twentieth anniversary - yes, it really was released back in 1994 - and yet, it remains a charming, funny, and very moving watch with Hanks delivering one of the performances of his career.
Forrest Gump is a big screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Winston Groom and was adapted into a screenplay by Eric Roth. The movie saw Robert Zemeckis back in the director's chair for the first time since Death Becomes Her.
This marked the first time that Hanks had teamed up with the filmmaker and the would go on to work together again on Cast Away and The Polar Express. Sally Field, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson were also on board as Mrs Gump, Jenny, Bubba and Lt Dan Taylor; all of them giving memorable performances.
For me, Forrest Gump is a modern day classic that really will remains a true favourite with audiences for years and decades to come. Forrest Gump is one of the most likeable characters to be portrayed on the big screen and Hanks has you rooting for him from the moment that you meet him for the first time.
Some call the movie 'over sentimental' but the emotion and the sentimentality that is weaved throughout the film is, in my opinion, one of its strengths. Like most of us, Gump has high and low points in his life, losing people along the way - which is something that we truly can all relate to. And it is these moments that really do pack the biggest punch - especially at the end. The film's final moments bring a tear to my eye every time, no matter how many times I have watched it over the years.
Of course the movie is packed with charm and laughs, as well as exploring some dark moments. And yet, Zemeckis balances all these elements and delivers them with heart and grace.
However, it is Hanks that truly makes this movie, a man who always sees his glass as half full and deals with anything and everything that life throws at him. When he gets knocked down or discriminated against, he gets back up or fights back and there's something incredibly inspiring about him.
There is an innocence and an optimism that is refreshing and touching and yet, he is a wise man who is ready to live his life to the full and sees the best of every situation that he finds himself in. Hanks is just wonderful from start to finish and it remains one of his finest performances.
Sally Field, Robin Wright, and Gary Sinise are also magnificent and these are the three major relationships in Gump's live. There is a chemistry between Hanks and all three of these actors as these relationships shape him and drive him forward.
When released in 1994, Forrest Gump was both a critical and commercial smash and was the second highest grossing film of the year, ahead of Speed, The Mask and True Lies but behind The Lion King. The movie went on to be nominated for thirteen Oscars, winning six; including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. It would be the second year in a row that Hanks would pick up the Best Actor gong, following on from his awards success with Philadelphia.
Forrest Gump is a larger than life piece of filmmaking that will put a smile on your face and break your heart at the same time. Hanks is truly wonderful and deserved all of the awards and acclaim that came his way. Over the years, Forrest Gump has become a movie that is loved by generations and was one of the best films to hit the big screen in the nineties.