#76 Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)

Amazon.com essential video
The Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Director Robert Zemeckis, and Best Actor Tom Hanks, this unlikely story of a slow-witted but good-hearted man somehow at the center of the pivotal events of the 20th century is a funny and heartwarming epic. Hanks plays the title character, a shy Southern boy in love with his childhood best friend (Robin Wright) who finds that his ability to run fast takes him places. As an All-Star football player he meets John F. Kennedy; as a soldier in Vietnam he's a war hero; and as a world champion Ping-Pong player he's hailed by Richard Nixon. Becoming a successful shrimp-boat captain, he still yearns for the love of his life, who takes a quite different and much sadder path in life. The visual effects incorporating Hanks into existing newsreel footage is both funny and impressive, but the heart of the film lies in its sweet love story and in the triumphant performance of Hanks as an unassuming soul who savors the most from his life and times. --Robert Lane

From The New Yorker
Warm, wise, and wearisome as hell. Tom Hanks plays Forrest Gump, a simple Alabama soul who serves his country without hurting a fly; he saves his comrades in Vietnam, woos the dippy Jenny (Robin Wright), and runs back and forth across the continent. Hanks does his best to convince us that Gump is, in fact, a character, and not merely a bulging sack of virtues, but the movie takes the fight out of him. The director, Robert Zemeckis, is no slouch, as he proved in the "Back to the Future" trilogy, where he invented his own brand of smart, critical nostalgia. Here, however, the whole film is tuned up to Gump's pitch of gentle sweetness. The visual effects are neat enough, with Hanks showing up in old footage of Kennedy and L.B.J., but the movie just keeps on jogging, like its harmless hero, in no particular direction. With Sally Field as the hero's loving mother. -Anthony Lane
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker

No comments: