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Forrest Gump

Year: 1994
Studio: Paramount
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Eric Roth/Winston Groom
Cast: Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, Mykelti Williamson
Another one of those films where the Academy apparently got it wrong. It's an unashamed love letter to American history, wrapped up in the story of a lovable idiot, but seen by many nowadays as an overblown, gilt-edged sugar rush of fantasy. It was made particularly audience-friendly, not at all like Groom's novel, in which Gump is far less childlike and innocent, but bigoted and bumbling.

The unfeasibly stupid Forrest (Hanks, in his second-ever acclaimed role after Philadelphia) grows up not only making it through life because of a bizarre concoction of relationships but managing to ingratiating himself unwittingly into the history books along the way. Among his accomplishments are inventing Elvis' signature dance, tipping the cops off to the Watergate break-in, and inventing the smiley that became the cultural icon of the 60s.

It's sweet and at times funny, but it's a little kid's view of America, a plea for less cynical times, and if the Academy voters had been a few years to think about it, they wouldn't have been nearly as caught up in the schmaltzy cuteness as they were.

What's particularly interesting about the movie was the huge number of digital effects employed in everything from putting Hanks in the room with president John F Kennedy to the drifting feather that opens the film.

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