Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Nominated for 13 Oscars, Won 6
Up Against: Four Weddings and A Funeral, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show
Embarassingly, I haven't seen this movie before. Actually, I don't know if it's embarassing to admit. The only things I really knew about this movie was "life's like a box of chocolate..." and "run forrest! run!" Other than that, I didn't know a whole lot about it. Though I knew people quoted it a lot. But overall, no idea really going into this.
Forrest Gump is the story of, well, Forrest Gump. Forrest is peculiar. He is sitting at a bus stop and starts telling his story to a woman (the 'audience' changes various times). He was a peculiar kid. He has leg braces, giving him a funny walk, and has an extremely low IQ. He meets a girl named Jenny on the first day of school. She's nice to him while all the other kids are mean. We are told they become lifelong friends. The story continues; Forrest telling us about shedding his leg braces, falling in love with running, playing football in college, serving in the Vietnam War, having his own shrimp boat, and finding Jenny again.
I'm just going to put it out there that I thought this movie was pretty weird. It was quirky, and odd and just really weird. Some things were so unrealistic, and hard to believe. That being said, I didn't enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would. Sure, it was a nice movie, but it was pretty odd, and I kept wondering how this won Best Picture. Again, not terrible, just okay. However, Tom Hanks was utterly amazing. He really owned the part of Forrest, and truly brought him to life. He completely shines and is overtaken by the role. He really knows his character, and is able to embody him in all ways. The accent was great, the manner of speech, the body language.. The best thing about this movie was Tom Hanks.
This is a movie about life, and following Forrest through it. Through this movie, I was continually thinking of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I really loved that film, and thought it was so heartbreaking, and so interesting. And I could see so much of CCBB in this (or vise-versa I suppose). Interestingly enough, both movies had the same screenplay writer, Eric Roth. Roth really understood his source material for this film though. It was funny, and really followed through on Forrest, really embodying him the same way, the entire film even though the film was a little too long. Much could've been shaved off.
For some of this film, I was sure whether it was supposed to be taken seriously, or to be joked off. It went back and forth between these two things, being very extreme on the 2 side to boot, that it was a little hard to take in, since it seemed so choppy. One moment Forrest is rescuing his fellow soldiers from an attack and bombing in Vietnam, the next he is eating ice cream in the hospital while recovering from being shots "in the buttocks" and wearing an enormous bandage/cast. The next we're learning about his friend, who lost his legs, and is mad Forrest didn't let him die out in the attack, and then Forrest is becoming a ping-pong champ and hitting at "amazing" speeds. It was very back and forth, and made it hard to take the serious stuff seriously, and the funny stuff in a jokey way. Not that other movies aren't like that, but there is a fine line, and having the serious stuff and funny stuff on two very different ends of the spectrum, it was hard to swallow.
Overall, the film was a little all over the place. There were recurring jokes of showing Forrest with celebrity icons before they were famous and inspiring them (John Lennon, Elvis), and him being put into old footage of football teams meeting the president, when the first black students arrived at Forrest's university (University of Alabama). We see contrast between Jenny's wild life of sex, strip clubs, drugs, and hippie lifestyle, with Forrest living a simple life, being in the Vietnam war, living on a shrimp boat, and their on again, off again relationship. It's a story about life, and love, and how you never really know what you're going to get in life, but that it's your life, and it's worth living to the fullest. While it was a cheesy at some points, purely lame at others, and just full-out unrealistic at others, Forrest Gump is an alright movie, but is extremely mediocre when you think about it winning Best Picture- particularly over films like Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction and Quiz Show.
Music – 7/10
Emotional Connection- 6/10
Overall Enjoyment- 6.5/10
Overall Package- 7/10