Celebrating Great Films

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Forrest Gump

#28 at time of writing.

A nostalgic history of the latter half of 20th century America through the eyes of Forrest Gump, an endearing simpleton who happens to find himself involved in a surprising variety of key cultural moments, all the while dreaming about his elusive childhood sweetheart Jenny.

Disguised beneath the cheery sentimentality and catchy contemporary music is a cutting indictment of American society, and for all its quirky lightheartedness this film is an immensely moving tragedy. Like every fairytale, it has its dark side - yet Forrest Gump himself retains his innocence throughout.

This sixfold Oscar winner is flawlessly acted (except maybe for the dated CGI that reanimates some long dead historical figures), endlessly quotable and wonderfully directed.

Allegedly, Tom Hanks wasn't paid for the film. Instead he took percentage points which ultimately netted him in the region of $40 million. And despite earning over $350 million at the box office, Paramount claimed that they were still $62 million out of profit due to the costs of promotion, distribution and interest. Sheesh.

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