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The Tom Hanks Bio

The Tom Hanks Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:

Forrest Gump

Not too tough. Private Ryan and Philadelphia are tied for second, if not first. Hey, pick any of the blockbusters, and you can make a case for it.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Nothing in Common (opposite Jackie Gleason, an ad exec forced into a renewed relationship with a cantankerous father)
That Thing You Do (record label exec, in his directorial debut)
You've Got Mail (email pen pals with Meg Ryan)
The Terminal (non-English-speaking man stuck in an American airport for days and days)
The Silly Hanks:
Volunteers (a pseudo-Peace Corp worker, escaping mobsters, with John Candy)
Bachelor Party (the title bachelor)
Money Pit (with Shelley Long, trying to fix up unfixable house)
Joe Versus the Volcano (opposite several Meg Ryans, a guy who signs up to throw himself into a volcano)
Turner and Hooch (a fastidious detective with a very messy dog)
The Burbs (suburbanite who doesn't like the new neighbors)
Ladykillers (trying to keep the landlady from finding out about his caper)
The Already Classics:
Forrest Gump (Golden Globe, SAG, and Oscar-winning performance in the title role)
Philadelphia (Golden Globe and Oscar-winning performance as a lawyer fired for having AIDS)
Saving Private Ryan (Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated performance as the WWII captain sent to find Ryan)
Big (pre-teen toy expert in adult clothing)
Sleepless in Seattle (widower with boy and object of Meg Ryan's affections)
Green Mile (The death-row warden and witness to miracles in the SAG-nominated cast)
Catch Me if You Can (Federal agent chasing counterfeiter Leonardo DiCaprio)
Da Vinci Code (code expert Roberty Langdon looking for descendant of Jesus Christ)
Cast Away (Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance as a FedEx expert stranded on a desert island)
Apollo 13 (SAG-winning performance as ill-fated astronaut Jim Lovell)
Road to Perdition (hit man for Paul Newman)
Charlie Wilson's War (Congressman Charlie Wilson, who helped the Afghans defeat the Russians)
A League of Their Own (manager of a professional women's baseball team)
Splash (a man in love with mermaid Darryl Hannah)
Angels and Demons (code expert solving a Vatican crime)
The Real Tom Hanks:
That Thing You Do

His writing and directing debut; that should tell you something. Though, with "Band of Brothers," he's shown his fascination with WWII; and he's participated in a few documentaries on NASA, as well.
Acting Style:
Approachable. The normal everyday guy dealing with overwhelming and/or incredible forces. When he comes through, he's a hero. Think about it: a normal guy stuck in an airport; a normal guy trying to get off an island; a normal guy defeating the Russians; a normal kid suddenly in an adult world; a normal GI on a mission. The comparison with James Stewart is certainly a compliment, but only accurate in that the two actors play approachable guys. Hanks as a cowboy? No, thank you very much. But Hanks makes up for it in being a far more gifted comic actor than Jimmy ever was. Also, far better than Stewart, Hanks plays real people (again, the normal guy) and, even when they're not heroic, as in the case of Jim Lovell, makes them larger than life.
Bits and Quirks:
Not many, actually. Draws out his voice to sound more approachable. Bowing of the head. Likes accents in general. Goofy smile. A variety of everyman gestures, which are so normal as to not warrant notice, which is the whole idea. There is the "uhh, uhhh" stutter, a mumbling throwaway, and self-enveloping stance where he brings in his arms tightly to his chest. Often with a quasi nail biting.
Great Scenes:
Saving Private Ryan

> The Normandy invasion
> The battle in the town
> The quiet scene at night talking about himself
> Meeting Matt Damon as Ryan
> Revealing that he is a schoolteacher
> Telling Damon, "Earn this!" at the end

Cast Away

> The opening, following the package, to Russia, and then the speech on efficiency
> "Wilson, I'm sorry" scene, losing Wilson
> the close encounter with the whale
> The crossroads in Texas
> Returning to civilization via the hotel
> Making fire

Charlie Wilson's War

Meeting CIA agent Philip Seymour Hoffman
> The meeting in Pakistan
> The belly dancer scene
> Getting the award in the terminal

The Terminal

Playing poker
> Building his little area
> The showdown with Stanley Tucci

The Green Mile

Sitting with Gary Sinise on the porch
> The last conversation with John Coffey in the jail cell
> The healing scenes


The office party, particularly with the pate
> The date with Elizabeth Perkins
> Hanging out with Billy, playing with silly string
> Dancing on the giant piano keys with Robert Loggia

Forrest Gump

> Again, there hardly is a scene that isn't memorable
> Jumping off the boat when he sees Cap'n Dan
> Saving everyone in Viet Nam
> The White House scenes with Johnson and Kennedy
> Stopping running
> The ping pong sequence
> The opening scene, landing at Forrest's feet
If you like Tom Hanks You probably didn't like:
Bonfire of the Vanities
Go to the... Tom Hanks Bio