Tom Hanks’ Five Best Movie Performances
Iconic roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.
Tom Hanks has worked in some of Hollywood’s biggest productions, and the star has shown no signs of stopping anytime soon. One of the most beloved stars, Hanks started his career with many unforgettable comedy roles before moving on to dramas. Hanks will return in Baz Lurhmann’s Elviswhere the California State University alum plays musical entrepreneur Colonel Tom Parker.
Let’s take a look back at five great performances from the two-time Oscar winner during his nearly 40-year career.
The first time Hanks really caught everyone’s attention was through his performance as Joshua Baskin, a young boy who wished to become an adult overnight. When the wish came true, Baskin began enjoying adulthood through the pure mind of a 12-year-old child. Penny Marshall’s film was a box office success, earning over $150 million on an $18 million production budget. The story written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg received a Best Original Screenplay nomination, and Hanks bagged his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his breakout role. The cast also includes Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia and John Heard.
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The ’90s were a real decade for Hanks, who established himself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile and skilled actors thanks to solid performances. In the courtroom drama directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ron Nyswaner, Hanks portrayed a gay lawyer with AIDS in Philadelphia. To the tune of Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” Hanks brought much of his humanity to the protagonist unjustly fired due to his medical condition. Hanks’ efforts were rewarded with his first Academy Award for Best Actor. Although controversial, philadelphia cream was one of the biggest box office hits when it debuted.
Forrest Gump (1994)
After achieving the iconic Back to the future trilogy, Robert Zemeckis took on a comedy-drama about the life of an intellectually disabled man (Hanks) who undergoes a series of incredible adventures. The adaptation of Winston Groom’s novel of the same name also starred Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson and Sally Field. Hanks showed off all of his majestic acting skills in a Best Actor Oscar-winning performance. With the win, Hanks became the first actor to earn back-to-back Best Actor Oscar wins since Spencer Tracy. Forrest Gump also won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects.
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Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Among other impressive deeds he did, Hanks was also part of one of director Steven Spielberg’s career highlights. During the invasion of Normandy in World War II, Captain John H. Miller (Hanks) led a group of brave men to rescue Private James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon), trapped behind enemy lines. The ensemble cast also included Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel and Jeremy Davies. Saving Private Ryan was nominated for eleven Academy Awards at the 71st Academy Awards and ultimately won five for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Cast Away (2000)
Although not as successful as Forrest Gump, working with Zemeckis a second time gave Hanks another iconic role. Alongside Helen Hunt and Nick Searcy, Hanks starred as Chuck Noland, a workaholic systems analyst executive who happened to survive after his plane was caught in a storm while flying over the ocean. Peaceful. Hanks underwent a heartbreaking physical transformation for the role. The Academy nominated Hanks for Best Actor and the movie for Best Sound, but Castaway did not win any awards. Hanks joined Zemeckis in The Polar Express (2004), and the duo will soon strengthen their collaboration in the next Pinocchio.