Winner of 1994’s best picture award, Forrest Gump is a biopic for the fictional character of Forrest Gump. Despite being raised in the small town of Greensboro, Alabama and having an IQ of 85, Forrest never thought of himself as being disadvantaged or restricted in comparison to others. Thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), and the love of his life Jenny (Robin Wright), Forrest learns to live a magnificent and fruitful life. From being on the all american table tennis team to participating in the Vietnam war to opening his own shrimping business, Forrest Gump inspires himself and the people around him through his childlike optimism.
In my honest opinion, I think this movie is overrated. Lets break it down. Forrest Gump is a movie about a not so smart fictional character who stumbles and bumbles his way across the pages of history to occupy his own life. As a viewer, you cheer for Forrest and his achievements and occasionally laugh at his honest observations about people and events. Robert Zemeckis (the director) does a good job in presenting this character’s life in a sort of “bedtime story” like manner, where you hear the same character describe his life to strangers on a park bench. But aside from this, Forrest Gump was a pretty by the numbers drama. I wasn’t won over by any of the films others aspects like its acting, production value or screenplay.
Forrest Gump is the “feel good” movie of 1994. It teaches you the important life lesson that being different than others does not put you at an disadvantage. There is nothing inherently wrong with this film’s structure, pacing, editing or acting. I liked the way Forrest Gump put his own stamp on important historical events such as the Watergate scandal, the civil rights movements and the phrase “shit happens”, but it is difficult for me to defend this film for winning “best picture of 1994”. In a year with game changing films such as Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption, Forrest Gump does not hold a candle to receiving this merit.
Overall, I don’t have much more to add. Forrest Gump is a perfectly enjoyable, by the numbers drama about a fictional character making his stamp on history. People give this movie way too much credit since it is a “Robert Zemeckis” and “Tom Hanks” film, which just to happens to show almost every important American historical event in the past 50 or so years. If you look past this, there is really nothing to celebrate. I do think this movie gets way more credit than it deserves.