The movies in this category are my favorite movies of all time. They are in no particular order. If you haven’t seen one of them, be sure to try to catch it on Netflix, TV, or Redbox.
“Forrest Gump” (1994)
Directed by Robert Zemekis
Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field, Mykelti Williamson, and Hayley Joe Osment
“Stupid is as stupid does,” says Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks in an Oscar-winning performance) as he discusses his relative level of intelligence with a stranger while waiting for a bus. Despite his sub-normal IQ, Gump leads a truly charmed life, with a ringside seat for many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. Entirely without trying, Forrest teaches Elvis Presley to dance, becomes a football star, meets John F. Kennedy, serves with honor in Vietnam, meets Lyndon Johnson, speaks at an anti-war rally at the Washington Monument, hangs out with the Yippies, defeats the Chinese national team in table tennis, meets Richard Nixon, discovers the break-in at the Watergate, opens a profitable shrimping business, becomes an original investor in Apple Computers, and decides to run back and forth across the country for several years. Meanwhile, as the remarkable parade of his life goes by, Forrest never forgets Jenny (Robin Wright Penn), the girl he loved as a boy, who makes her own journey through the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s that is far more troubled than the path Forrest happens upon. Featured alongside Tom Hanks are Sally Field as Forrest’s mother; Gary Sinise as his commanding officer in Vietnam; Mykelti Williamson as his ill-fated Army buddy who is familiar with every recipe that involves shrimp; and the special effects artists whose digital magic place Forrest amidst a remarkable array of historical events and people.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Why I love it:
Beware. If you haven’t seen the film there are several spoilers in this part of the article.
“Forrest Gump” is timeless classic and it is deservedly so. This movie is superbly acted, has great themes, some hilarious humor, a well written and interesting story, beautiful music by Alan Silvestri, a fantastic late twentieth century themed soundtrack, and meaningful characters and relationships. These many aspects, in my opinion, make this one of the greatest movies of all time.
The great lesson’s this movie can teach people are one of the reason’s this movie is so great. It’s main message is that,” it does not matter how smart you are, as long as you care for, and are kind, to others.” I think this is one of my favorite themes in any movie because it really is so true. People are so greedy and desire for power and money, and Gump had money and could have power, but he couldn’t care less. All he wanted was his Mama, Jenny, Lieutenant Dan, Bubba (and later his son, little Forrest) and all the other people he cared for because he knows they are the only things that really matter. Forrest Gump also always maintains a positive outlook on the world. Part of that is because of his ignorance, and partly because he knows that if anything bad happens his love will never fade, and he believes he will still see his loved ones again. Without Forrest’s positive outlook he would never have been able to finally be with his true love Jenny. Forrest’s optimism is truly something to be envied. For me the best part of the movie is when Forrest sees his son for the first time and says,”he’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” Forrest now knows that this child is now the most important thing in his life and that he will forever love him. I wish every parent had as much respect for their children as Forrest Gump does. Another quote, ” I don’t know if Mama was right, or its Lt. Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all floating around accidental like on a breeze, but I think maybe its both. Maybe both are happening at the same time.” shows what every person thinks about on the planet, but it is something that we really can’t decide. It is actually a very wise thing for such an un-intelligent person to say. This shows that while Forrest is definitely not the smartest guy on the block, he still knows more about life than most people smarter than him. All these different meanings are the main driving force of the movie and they are one of the reason’s why it is so amazing.
All the characters in this film are well-developed and in some cases represent certain themes of the movie. Forrest Gump has become one of the most beloved movie characters of all time, and with good reason. He is very slow but like I mentioned before, it really doesn’t matter because he is extremely kind, gentle and loving. He cares for, and respects, everyone he meets even if they don’t respect or care for him (even though he can’t really tell if they do or not). This makes him very easy to root and care for, but what also makes him such a moving character is his undying love for Jenny. Jenny has an extremely troubled past. She had an abusive father and her traumatic past ended up turning her into druggie who was always running from her past and that is why she never wanted to be with Forrest. The fact that she keeps trying to push Forrest out of her life is angering to the viewer, but yet you still sympathize with her for everything she had to deal with as a child. In the end, she lets go of her troubles and can finally be with Forrest because she realizes that no matter what anyone does to her, Forrest will always be there and that she has always loved him.
I also love the plot of this movie. This movie will definitely please any history buff as it shows some of the most important events of the late twentieth century. Its pretty hilarious to watch Forrest show up in all these different events either by luck or by accident. I love how this movie offers a look at history through the eyes of an innocent and ignorant man.
Tom Hanks is absolutely perfect as our slow-witted protagonist and he put so much heart, feeling and humor into his wonderful performance (which is probably why he won an Oscar for it). Robin Wright really makes you feel for her character because she really put some emotion into her role and you really feel for her character. Gary Sinise is one of the most under-appreciated actors in Hollywood and he is truly amazing as the crippled and depressed Lieutenant Dan. Sally Field brings her typical warmth to her role as Forrest’s Mama and who teaches Forrest how to be a good person. Then of course there is Mykelti Williamson, who plays the slow-witted best friend to Forrest during the Vietnam War. His character brings a lot of humor and later, emotion, to the movie and he plays it perfectly. This movie is just amazing and all these great performances help to make it that way.
The Academy of Motion Picture Sciences obviously agrees with my opinion of the movie as they gave it six Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay (and it was nominated for seven more!), all of which I think it definitely deserves. This is an even greater feat considering it had to compete against other classics from 1994 such as Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption and The Lion King to name a few. I really think this movie is one that will stand the test of time and is a movie that everyone can enjoy. It provides lessons for all of us to take into account, and can even help to change our ways, and that is why it is one of my favorite films and gives me chills evertime I watch it. There is so much more I could write about the amazing characters, music, story and themes of this great movie but it would have to go onto about twenty pages.
Also, this is one of the most emotional movies you could find. You’re going to have wiped your eyes by the end. I guarantee it.