Entertainment Magazine

Forrest Gump: 30th Anniversary

Posted on the 16 June 2024 by Sirmac2 @macthemovieguy

This year brings about the return of Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, and Robert Zemeckis. Later in the year, they have a film releasing together called Here, but it feels special because 30 years ago they made the Best Picture winning Forrest Gump, based on a best selling novel. The film has since not aged quite as well as others, especially since its big Oscar competition was Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption. Shawshank at the time did not have the box office, and while Pulp Fiction marked a return to form and a new career high for John Travolta, Tarantino didn’t quite have the massive fan base he does today. Meanwhile, Robert Zemeckis gave us Back To The Future. So, at the time, Forrest Gump was the clear choice.

I’m actually somewhat a fan of the film. I would definitely change some of the awards, but that doesn’t completely undo the fact that Forrest Gump somewhat stumbling his way through time, which charming idioms like Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates, and strong supporting work from Gary Sinise, Robin Wright, and Sally Field, all are still things to celebrate today. But something happened to Hanks’s ability to be nominated and win after two back to back wins, and while his performance in Philadelphia might just be his best work, Forrest Gump seems easily beaten by films like Cast Away, The Green Mile, or even his supporting turn in saving Mr Banks, where he played a remarkable Walt Disney. He wasn’t even nominated for Captain Phillips, Bridge Of Spies, or News Of The World.

But the charm of Forrest Gump can be measured pretty easily by the existence of an actual chain restaurant from the film, Bubba Gump Shrimp. Not only is it mentioned in the book, and film, but it spawned into a franchise. Not a film franchise, but I’ve actually eaten at a Bubba Gump Shrimp. Though, with the state of restaurants what they are, I wouldn’t be surprised if this failed, and no longer exists.

The fact is, we are thirty years past “Run Forrest Run”, “I gotta Pee”,and all of the quotable moments that have slowly faded away. I remember when Run Forrest Run was the quote any kid would use to mock someone else. After watching this film for the ump-teenth time on Paramount Plus (with audio description), I got to compare all those memories of having seen this movie more than once with the terrific audio description. My biggest take away was that i wanted to follow that damn leaf at the beginning. I remember it opening with that leaf falling, and I know it is so insignificant, but in someways it is such an iconic shot.

Other than that, I thought this was a nice trip down memory lane. It has been years since I’ve seen Forrest Gump, certainly in its entirety. Cable viewings mean I’ve seen some parts more than others, but years since watching the whole thing. With 30 years under my belt, and thousands of films seen since my first viewing, I can recognize Gump isn’t perfect, but still mostly charming. It isn’t a desert island film for me, and I would easily give the Best Picture Oscar to the remarkable Shawshank Redemption if I could.

Final Grade: A-

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