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Monday, 13 August 2018

''Hanks-Giving'': My 10 Personal Favourite Tom Hanks Performances

Unlike many other performers, Tom Hanks is an actor who manages to capture audiences' attentions and warms people's hearts with impressive turns and at the same time, comes across as instantly appealing. He has come a long way, 30 years in fact as I type this and for over 3 decades, since his Hollywood breakthrough in Penny Marshall's 1988's Big as an overgrown kid, thus showing his sense of humour, comedic timing and style. 

Since his transition from comedies to full-time dramas, he manages to pick out and select the best movies that help stretch and harness his talents, although from a guy who first got his start on TV sitcom, Bosom Buddies as a funnyman through to Dragnet, Big, Turner and Hooch and Toy Story, it still makes me long for more comedy and lighter roles, especially really good comedic roles & films from Hanks, alongside his dramatic fare. 

His adaptability, & not just his versatility in dramas meant he is able to assimilate into being a dramatic actor and is one of the fewest actors who started out doing comedies, wherein audiences and people buy into his transition thoroughly. His move towards dramatic films was cemented in 1993 with his Oscar-winning role as an AIDS patient in Philadelphia. That's so not the case with Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Bill Murray, who are all still seen as funnymen in their eyes, even when they dip their toes in serious roles, yet Hanks is an exception. He can charm his ass off in a rom-com to delivering a convincing and emphatic turn in dramas and thrillers. Though as understated as he can be, he never overplays his roles, which evoke an everyman quality and Hanks always manages to strike a balance whilst holding fans and audiences' attention. When he is expected to deliver a great performance, 9 times out of 10, he prevails; & alas, he rarely gives a truly bad performance. 

3 decades later, Tom Hanks is still one of the most sought-after bankable actors in Hollywood today. 

Here is the rundown of my 10 favourite roles from his incredible career:

10. Castaway - Chuck Noland >> a tour-de-force performance to go with dropping substantial weight for the film & directed by Robert Zemeckis in their second major collaboration following on from Forrest Gump. His physical transformation is startling, and yet he also manages to hold attention onscreen throughout its duration.

9. Catch Me If You Can - Carl Hanratty >> Carl is a no-nonsense FBI agent who goes after Leonardo Di Caprio's Frank, a young forger. Even when he plays a grumpy guy, he's not overly grumpy and moody and strikes a balance between hard and also approachable, as well as amusing.

8. Turner and Hooch - Scott Turner >> first of all, I prefer Turner and Hooch over that other cop and dog flick, K-9 with James Belushi, which was also released in 1989, secondly, Hanks's endearing and charismatic performance as Scott is one that gets overlooked too often whose rapport with Beasley (Hooch) is sweet and amusing to watch

7. The Road To Perdition - Michael Sullivan Snr >> very rarely does Hanks venture onto movies that depict and show violence, but for this one and Saving Private Ryan per se. In a role that is pretty much leftfield, but also a bold move, he assimilates into Michael Sullivan Snr with ease as he is both haunting and convincing. 

6. Cloud Atlas - Dr Henry Goose/Hotel Manager/Isacc Sachs/Dermot Loggins/Zachery >> where else do you see Tom Hanks playing multiple characters in one movie and excelling in each role? Actually, it is this one, courtesy of the Wachowski brothers who are renowned for The Matrix trilogy. From a hero to an evil skinhead-like villain to a murderous and racist doctor and scientist, for the first time, he shows his versatility and range and thus, confounding critics and naysayers who have insisted he plays the same type of character in every single movie of his. Not this one, however, and Hanks is that impressive 

5. Big - Josh Baskin >> in his first dramatic effort, he combines both his knack for comedy and humour with dramatic traits and unlike the 1996 Francis Ford Coppola effort, Jack with Robin Williams, Tom never reduces his character, Josh to childish antics that border on cringe-worthy. Oh and that piano dancing scene is still classic

4. Sleepless In Seattle - Sam Baldwin >> as Sam, Tom Hanks shows his adeptness as a leading male star in a romantic comedy opposite one of the rom-com queens, Meg Ryan. The two, who previously starred in Joe Versus The Volcano, later reunited on You've Got Mail, but personally, this one is far more memorable. Though it may not stretch his acting ability, Hanks still demonstrates his charm and likability.

3. Toy Story Series - Sheriff Woody >> when I think of this film, two words spring to mind: Tom Hanks, and without Hanks voicing this character, Toy Story would be nowhere as successful and great as it is. Watch may have omitted this character from its 10 best Tom Hanks performances list video, but not me. Endearing, amusing, larger-than-life, even if he doesn't take on as many lighter roles, at least rewatching Woody puts a smile on my face.

2. Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump >> Hanks won back- to- back best actor Oscars for Philadelphia and as Forrest Gump and in his most iconic role, probably followed by Woody of Toy Story, he plays a slow-witted and not very bright man overcoming the odds and making American history. Hanks manages to make Forrest grounded and human as he could possibly can, and did. 

1. Philadelphia - Andrew Beckett >> the role that first introduced and established Tom Hanks as a serial dramatic actor to audiences, after spending the past decade playing lightweight and comedic roles, it is also one which he has built upon over the years, as Andrew he goes from being confident and boisterous to someone who sees his life deteriorating in front of very eyes without turning him into a cliche or stereotype. The film, which was the first to acknowledge HIV/AIDS in the mainstream, may not have aged well, but Hanks's performance still remains as emphatic and timeless today, just as it was in 1993. 

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