Forrest Gump (1994)
Reviewed on 2008 April 11
This 1994 Oscar® winner for Best Picture competed against Pulp Fiction that year, and I would have been happy with either getting the award. They’re both quotable, they both have killer soundtracks, and the acting in both was very good. But only this one had Tom Hanks.
Forrest Gump (Hanks) is the ultimate naive narrator, showing us a wedge of history from his childhood in the late ’50s through the early ’80s. He’s almost deprived a typical education because of his lower I.Q. until his mother (Sally Field) gets him the schooling she knows he deserves. Once he’s accepted into a standard school, he has a hard time making friends except for Jennie (Robin Wright), who becomes the love of his life.
It never occurs to Forrest to be afraid of anything, and wherever his intellect might limit him, his huge heart and curiosity overcompensate. He survives a tour of duty in Vietnam, becomes a businessman, and meets several important historical figures along the way. He may not realize the importance of what he’s doing, but the audience does. A lot of the humor in these sequences comes from how well Forrest is blended into historical film and newsreels.
This is another in a long line of films where the more you describe what happens, the greater the chances are you’ll blow it for someone who hasn’t seen it yet. (Yeah, I know it’s been out a long time, but I didn’t get around to watching Lawrence of Arabia until last spring. Shukti always asks first.) I’ll just say it won 6 Oscars®, got 7 other nods, and would probably be a good addition to your movie collection.
Four chocolate morsels.