Forrest Gump is a rare movie that succeeded on all levels. It was a box office smash ranking among the top five highest grossing movies of all time. But it was also a critical darling, garnering across the board praise and a truckload of awards. The movie became a cultural phenomenon, spawning cook books, quote books, a top ten soundtrack album and lines like "stupid is as stupid does" and "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" have permeated our dialect. The movie has a nostalgic, feel good vibe thanks to the dimwitted Forrest's trek through 60's and 70's touchstone events. Underneath all those warm feelings lies a darkness. Bad things happen to just about everyone Forrest comes in contact with. His best friend Bubba is killed in Vietnam, his other friend Lt. Dan loses both his legs, his mother dies of cancer and his beloved Jenny dies of AIDS. Even the famous people Forrest comes across meet with disaster, President Kennedy & John Lennon are assassinated, George Wallace is shot and Elvis Presley dies young. There are superb performances all around. Sally Field is feisty as Forrest's mama, Mykelti Williamson is funny as Bubba, Gary Sinese as Lt. Dan is a perfect rough edged foil to Forrest and Robin Wright as Jenny portrays the confusion that young people of the times felt perfectly. While all those performances are of high quality, Forrest Gump is Tom Hanks' tour de force. He is utterly brilliant as Forrest. He is in virtually every scene of the movie and never once does he fail to astound. He becomes Forrest and makes you care what happens to him. Mr. Hanks deservedly won his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar for the role and cemented himself as the best actor of his generation and one of the best of all time.
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