Friday, 25 December 2015

Best Leading Actor 1994: Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump

What to say about Forrest Gump? The film has already become a cult and it's so famous that I find it useless to write anything about it. I enjoyed it well enough, though it is a bit flawed. What I am very grateful is that by its scheme there very made many better film that I almost loved (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Walk, but especially Big Fish).
The first thing you have to notice in the first minutes of Forrest Fump is Tom Hanks' accent. He's using southern accent, the same as Sally Field in the film, but Hanks' is way too mannered. I know he speaks slowly because his IQ is lower, but the probability of someone speaking like this is very low, in my opinion.
It's not just his accent that is over-the-top. The most of his screen presence is over-the-top and unfortunately, not enjoyably so. For example the scene, in which Forrest finds out that the segregation is over. This short moment is worthy of a Razzie award, not an Oscar. What is even worse than this moment, is the fact that Hanks delivers some jokes, as jokes, which is the worst possible thing a comedy actor can do. He does it with too declamatory way. (Just like Patti Lupone does in theatre – where it is forgivable, or like Octavia Spencer did in The Help – which is not so forgivable.) Take for instance the scene, in which Jenny is showing Forrest her breasts. The way he looks is just too obvious.
It's funny that these kinds of performance work on people so well. Though technically they are not very good, yet they somehow become so likable. I understand it in a way, because even though these mistakes are obvious, somehow you cannot be angry on Hanks for them. He simply is too cute, or adorable to despise him.
There is one thing I must give Hanks credit for. It's the way he's dedicated to his role. Though his performance is technically not very good, he was able to stay consistent throughout his entire presence. The way he moves, or overuses his eyes. It's something that, though is overacted, is also repeating and makes this performance somehow complex.
There is something so true about the famous line from Tropic Thunder: You should never go fully retarded. And Hanks didn't. He stayed somewhere in the middle. Nor was he normal enough, nor retarded enough. And I think that is the main problem I have with this performance. It is not bad. It has got its better parts, but it's too obvious and it's begging for our tears so evidently that we don't shed a single tear.

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