"Life is like
a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get."
"Stupid is as stupid does."
This film won the Oscar for Best Picture for 1994. Under the
gifted direction of Robert Zemeckis, this brilliant, poignant,
well-paced, powerful film tells the moving tale of a mildly
retarded boy, Forrest Gump (Michael Conner Humphreys &
Tom Hanks), raised by his loving, devoted but unconventional
mother, who grows up and manages to go everywhere, and meet
everyone, including Elvis Presley, JFK, and John Lennon. Gump
sees the world through three strong forces in his life; God,
his mother, and Jenny, who was his life long friend, whom
he dearly loved.
The film starts off with Forrest's childhood, his experiences
he went through, how he met Jenny, how he got into college,
his experiences in the Army in Viet Nam, and his adventures
after he came home. As he goes through his life, he accidentally
has experiences with famous people, and experiences famous
moments in history. His true love, Jenny, comes in and out
of his life, as she tries to overcome the scars of her traumatic
childhood home life with an alcoholic father, with despicable
The moving script, by Eric Roth, was adapted from the novel
by Winston Groom. Throughout the movie, the script ponders
the question: Are the events / occurrences in one's life just
an accident, like a feather in the wind, or are they the result
of personal destiny? Or, does one make his/her own destiny,
using what God gave each person.
Hanks gives a wonderful performance as the unworldly Gump.
He has a sweetness, and a simple honesty that's hard to resist.
"His heart knows what his limited IQ cannot. His moral
compass never wavers." Hanks won the best actor Oscar
for his performance. In addition to Hanks amazing performance,
he gets great support from the other players. Robin Wright
plays the emotionally troubled Jenny, who as a child, (played
by Hannah Miller) was described as having "the sweetest
voice in the whole world."
Robin and Tom had terrific screen chemistry, getting a lot
of mileage out of the material written in this fine screenplay,
by Eric Roth. They provide the audience with fine, dramatic
moments in the story. My favorite sequence of scenes starts
when they unexpectedly run into each other in Washington D.C.,
in a most creative way.
Gary Sinise is a revelation as Gump's Vietnam era superior
officer, and friend, Lieutenant Dan Taylor, who goes through
a variety changes as the war and life in general throws trials
and obstacles in his life.
Mykelti Williamson is endearing as Hanks' shrimp obsessed,
Army buddy, Benjamin "Bubba" Bufford-Blue who asks
Forrest to be his business partner, after they get back to
the states, when their tour of duty is over. Unfortunately,
he dies in Forrest's arms, but Forrest doesn't forget their
partnership plans, and carries on down the road.
Sally Field excels
as Hanks loving mother, determined that he be treated like
anyone else, so he would reach his full potential."You
have to do the best with what God gave you." Because
of her efforts, and her guidance Forrest does wind up using
what God did give him, to the best of his ability.
The film's soundtrack is wonderful. It's like an audio trip
through some of the best loved music of the '60's and '70's.
My favorite scene takes place in Forrest's childhood. Forrest
is in leg braces. Pursued by bullies, and urged on by his
girl pal, Jenny, (Hannah Mill), Forrest runs as fast as he
can. As he runs, in slow motion, his leg braces fall off.
Freed of his restraints, Forrest streaks away, outdistancing
his pursuers. The scene is a wonderful, uplifting, damp-eyed
The film is a future classic because of the way it looks at
the tumultuous '60's and 1970's, with laughs and a few tears,
through the eyes of an innocent. You don't have to have lived
through these times, personally, to enjoy this movie, but
it certainly enhances the viewing experience.
Through the miracle of computerized FX, Forrest seems to interact
with many of the famous, powerful, and influential people
of the '60's and '70's. The Visual Effects won an Oscar.