Time: 142 mins.
Won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Hanks), Director, Visual Effects, Film Editing, Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture . Nominations in 7 other categories.
SYNOPSIS: A slow-witted man tells his life's tale to people waiting at a small town bus stop. He has captured fame, fortune and glory, but spending time with his one true love continuously eludes him.
BOTTOM LINE: I remember seeing this film in the theater and walking out wondering what all the fuss was about. The plot struck me as wholly unbelievable and contrived, though I was impressed with Hanks's complete transformation into Forrest. After repeated viewings, I came to change my tune. I still think SHAWSHANK should have won the Oscar, but FORREST GUMP is a film that makes you appreciate both the big and small moments of life and how they can change you forever. The fact that Forrest never seeks fame and fortune enables you to swallow all the crazy things that happen to him along the way. All he wants is a quiet, simple life with his childhood friend Jenny (Wright), but it seems fate has other plans for him.
Because Forrest is just going with the flow – he's not really mentally capable of controlling his own life – we are able to experience two turbulent decades in our nation's history without a deliberate point-of-view, enabling us to make up our own minds about the morality of what occured. He's no mindless doofas. He just makes decisions with his heart and treats everyone how he wishes they would treat him. For the most part, this workds out pretty well for him. Hanks is enchanting, funny and honest, never letting us feel sorry for Forrest, who manages to make his way in the world just fine. Field and Sinise give equally memorable performances as the two people forced by circumstances to protect Forrest from the evils of the world. The story bogs down a bit towards the end with the telling of one fastastic tale after another, however, his final reunion with Jenny, though not picture perfect, makes the journey a worthwhile one for Forrest and the audience.