This post is part of the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon being held this month by Kellee over at Outspoken and Freckled along with Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen and Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club. Thanks for letting me contribute!
“My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on. ” – Forrest Gump
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater, DVD, 8 Jun 2013 and 23 Feb 2016)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – Life story of a simple southern man who’s life comes in contact with history over and over during a thirty year span of time.
My Take on it – 1994 will go down as one of the most competitive years for Oscar Best Picture because all 5 movies were excellent and any choice would have been the right one.
Some say Pulp Fiction (1994) should have won because of its superb way of storytelling by Quentin Tarantino.
Some say Four Weddings and A Funeral (1994) was deserving of winning because it was such an amazing romantic comedy that brought Hugh Grant to the top echelon of the acting pyramid.
Others think that Robert Redford’s Quiz Show (1994) should have won because it gave us an extraordinary tale of greed and corruption in the TV industry.
Many others (my self included) think that The Shawshank Redemption (1994) should have won because of its themes and story that despite dealing with a prison movie setting, it’s still one of the most powerful film ever made and it is all about hope.
But… In the end, the Academy chose this movie as its Best PIcture for that year and seriously, it’s very difficult to argue that this (or any of the others for that matter) is (are) not worthy of that lofty title.
First of all, Robert Zemeckis was able to give us a tale of a walk through so many iconic years of Americana.
Through the magic of movies and special effects, the main character was able to meet so many of the people who helped shape history and in some cases be present at those events.
Yes, it’s contrived and a bit manipulative, but hell, that’s what makes it so entertaining; we constantly want to find out who or what part of the rich American history Forrest will connect to next.
Tom Hanks is amazing in the title role and there is no reason to believe that he wasn’t deserving of a second Best Actor Oscar just one year after giving us such an unbelievable performance in Philadelphia (1993). Since then, Hanks has been an acting darling and has proven time and again how great an actor he is.
Not many other actors (if any really) could match the performance he gave here and it has become so iconic over the last 22 years.
Gary Sinise also gives us an unbelievable performance as Lt. Dan and I think he was robbed of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar that year. The Academy chose instead to reward Martin Landau with a lifetime award for his role in Ed Wood (1994).
The effects used here to superimpose Hanks into many scenes of historic significance are superb.
I also loved how they contrasted Forrest’s life with Jenny’s throughout to give us an even bigger picture of the extreme lifestyles people lived during those turbulent years, but Forrest’s constant positive (or simplistic) look on everything in life and in the world is what will always stay with me because it gives us hope that life can also be better if you just look at it from a different perspective. Just like the famous quote from Momma Gump – “Life is like a box of chocolate, ya never know what you’re gonna get.”
Bottom Line – Hanks is superb in the title role and I doubt many other actors could duplicate what he has done here. Gives off such an Americana vibe that we forget that it’s all fiction. Sinise is amazing as Lt. Dan and he really should gave won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor that year instead of Martin Landau. Won best picture in a very competitive year of nominees if not THE most competitive ever. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Magician Ricky Jay designed a special wheelchair for Gary Sinise that used an illusion to hide his legs, which were on a hidden platform underneath. The contortion required to sit in it meant that Sinise could only be in it for about ten minutes at a time. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)
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Nice review Rob, very well written and concise.
I agree wholeheartedly that Shawshank should have received the Oscar. I would have chosen Pulp Fiction personally speaking but Shawshank is SUCH a big movie that has literally touched everyone in some way. It’s very special. There’s not many movies like it (in the way that everyone seems to have seen it and everyone likes it a lot)
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Very true. Hindsight is always 20/20. But as I pointed out any of them coulda won it was such a great year. ..almost like 99 which had American beauty. Green mile. Sixth sense. Cider house rules and the insider
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I can see why the Academy would vote for “Forest Gump”, but my vote is still with The Shawshank Redemption.
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