Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Forrest Gump (1994)

Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright & Gary Sinise

Rating 8/10

This is one well known and well quoted film. Most people reference it like it’s a comedy or a bit of a joke but it is quite the opposite.

Forrest Gump was one of the first films to do CGI really well. It all started with the feather… and ended with the feather… remember? There were also Gump cameos thrown into real footage of famous American moments and it is almost seamless.

This is an unbelievable story made believable. And it all has to do with the character of Forrest who sees the world in such a simple way that the audience is left believing that anything is possible… unless you’re highly cynical.

It all begins with a loving mother (Sally Field) and little Forrest with the slow mind and the bent back, making him the perfect candidate victim for the local bullies. But, in true Forrest fashion, he breaks out of his braces and makes a run for it forming the foundation of his future life and the famous quote “Run, Forrest” by his good mate Jenny (Wright).

As he grows he kinda falls into his awesome life, just by the way he approaches life: he goes to university, plays football and heads off to the Vietnam war where he meets his two new buddies, Bubba (Mykelti Williamson) and Lt Dan Taylor (Sinise). Once back home, Forrest becomes a champion ping pong player, drives a shrimp boat and runs across America.

It is as if he has the Midas touch. Except that life for Jenny is heading in the opposite direction. She has done everything under the sun, taken all the drugs, joined dangerous political movements, slept with countless fellas and always returns to Forrest in some kind of mess. She can’t see the forest for the trees so to speak. Where Forrest sees simplicity, Jenny sees complexity. She, like Forrest, is always running, though hers is way less healthy than his. In the end she gets it together, they get it together but disaster is not far behind our Jenny.

There is so much in this film. It comments on historical, political and social moments and issues. It flashes through a few decades of social change, of complex happenings in such a gentle and good hunoured way. It shows us our western world through Forrest’s eyes.

This is a sad, happy, simple, complex and totally watchable film. It is firmly set in our pop culture history but that doesn’t mean it lacks heart. In fact it is all heart and that’s what makes it so good, that and the killer soundtrack. The performances are also solid. There are so many great actors in this movie.

Hanks does a really good job considering the complexities of his character. He doesn’t make fun of the more simple kinda people in our world but gives them a voice and a face. He shines a light on the value of these people in our messed up world. Then there’s Sally Field (and who wouldn’t love a mum like her?), Gary Sinise, Robin Wright (who defines grittiness) and a very cute and little Haley Joel Osment.

So pop off your cynical glasses for a sec and indulge in a little lovely Hollywood fantasy.

Forrest Gump Trivia:

  • Budget – $55 Million
  • 3 Actors who turned down the role of Forrest were: Bill Murray, John Travolta and Chevy Chase.
  • To make Sinise’s lower legs disappear, they wrapped them in blue material to be digitally figured out later.
  • Little bro, Jim Hanks often doubled for bro Tom in the running scenes.
  • When he was shooting the football running scene, Tom was just getting over having the flu.
  • The missing dialogue when Forrest’s microphone is disconnected is apparently:

“Sometimes when people go to Vietnam, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.”

  • The first school bus has a few Hollywood kids on it: the first boy is director Robert Zemeckis’ son and the girl with the red hair is Hanks’ daughter.
  • In the ping pong scenes the ball was animated… there was no ball
  • Sally Field was only ten years older than Tom Hanks
  • Hanks decided not to be paid for the film but took percentage points which ultimately gave him $40 million dollars. (Lucky gamble).
  • Kurt Russell claims he did the voice of Elvis Presley but he was uncredited.
  • The part when Forrest keeps on running was based on a real event, a 16 year old fella ran from New Jersey to San Fran in 1982.

And our next Best Picture winner is…Braveheart starring the shouting Mel Gibson and demure Sophie Marceau.


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