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"Forrest Gump"

Click to buy at Amazon.com Reviewed by Terry Cochran

"Forrest Gump" is an Academy Award winning film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as the main character “Forrest, Forrest Gump.” Adapted from the book by Winston Groom, this film is wonderfully and surprisingly different from the book. Forrest Gump the film is a masterfully directed, acted, and shot work of art, encompassing decades of pivotal, cultural, life changing events of the 20th century which, of course, Forrest happens to be a part of at every turn.

Forrest is a slow-witted but amazingly good-hearted southern boy (and later, man). As a child he falls in love with his best friend Jenny (Robin Wright) and continues to love her through the many men she grows through, along with all her less then stellar life choices that she chooses to make. The Forrest and Jenny love story angle is only one of many covered in this film. This film encompasses humor, cultural events and some heartbreaking drama that touches even the most hardened of hearts with its realistic imagery. Forrest learns about life, love and death throughout this film, along with many other life lessons entwined within this story.

Forrest finds his place in the world by being a fantastic runner and finds this little known or expected talent to be what will take him to so many different places in his lifetime. Between leg braces, the cruelty of other children, meeting Elvis, football championships, going to and saving his comrades in Vietnam, meeting the President of the United States (again!), falling in love with and saving Jenny time and time again, taking care of his mama (Sally Field), being a shrimp boat captain, and running across the United States and back, Forrest leads a complicated and complex life for such a “simple minded” person.

This was the film of the year in 1994. It was nominated for and won several Academy Awards. Robert Zemeckis earned the Academy Award for Best Director and the film itself won the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as three other Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Editing and Best Writing. Gary Sinise (Lt. Dan) also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It also received many other Academy Award nominations including Best Cinematography, Best Music and Best Sound.

Part of what makes "Forrest Gump" so endearing and captivating is Zemeckis' use of superimposing actors into actual, historical film footage. This footage includes President John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, President Richard M. Nixon, Alabama Governor George Wallace and many more. Other memorable characters from this film include school bus driver Dorothy Harris (Siobhan Fallon), Bubba's mother (Marlena Smalls), Abbie Hoffman (Richard D'Alessandro) and Forrest Gump Jr. (the young, Haley Joel Osment).

This is definitely a film that, if you have not seen it by now, you should!

To listen to or buy songs from the "Forrest Gump" awesome soundtrack see below:

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