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Cast Away

Year: 2000
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt
Robert Zemeckis films are always somewhat special to me, if only because of Roger Rabbit and Back to the Future. So I'm always first in line to see his movies, and as both he and I get older, I realise just what a masterful filmmaker he is (even with dubious material like Forrest Gump). He's not quite Spielberg, but he inhabits a similar vein to Ron Howard; strong and high-quality visuals and with a strong focus on storytelling.

In what must have been one of the biggest product placement deals of in the history of Hollywood and the cheapest movie to make as a consequence (you can almost see the studio lottery hawked to the major courier services to pay untold millions for their product to be front and centre in a major movie), Hanks is Chuck, his usual everyguy, a fixer for Fedex who travels the world cleaning up local operations.

He leaves his promising relationship with girlfriend (Hunt) in temporary limbo - probably intending to propose to her - before hitching a lift on an air transport that goes down in stormy seas, depositing Chuck on a deserted island. Kept company and sane by a volleyball he bestows human qualities upon, Chuck trains himself to live long enough to construct a makeshift boat and try to float away. A great idea, well told, Hanks not quite going full method (the hair and beard are fake).

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