Favorite performances, and what on earth is Forrest Gump about?

I swear, I’m just typing whatever that’s coming into my head now.

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NO MORE WORK! Please!!!! I have one presentation next week, 2 presentations the following week, one test the following Saturday and a hell lot of assignments/projects to do. I’m so tired! The things we do for our future careers…sighs

    My personal favorite performances of all time (Based on the limited number of films that I’ve watched)

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Alright, I’m just going to say this: this, my friends, is the greatest female performance ever to me. I don’t even know why I suddenly thought about it (Maybe I’m turning into Blanche from all the stress) but yes, I’ve been deciding between this work and Vivien Leigh’s other legendary work in Gone With The Wind, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, Ellen Burstyn in Resurrection (yes, I’m serious here too)…but I go with this. Fantastic. The right balance between theatrical and natural, tragic and comic, realistic and fictional, flirty and vulnerable….I can go on but her performance here just joins up all these dichotomies so well that I simply cannot not embrace it. I feel like I’m in the minority who preferred this to her Scarlett O’Hara (which was equally fantastic of course).

updated on 15 February: Add Anne Bancroft in The Graduate to the list. My god, that was one marvelous performance. I’ve been trying to figure out over the past few weeks what was the missing performance that I forgot to include. Well, glad I figured it out. Charlize Theron in Monster and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose comes very close too.

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…and this, is probably my personal best male performance of all time. I’m not saying this just because Philip Seymour Hoffman recently passed away. But his work here itself is so brilliant, chilling, manipulative (not the performance, but the character, and in an excellent way) and every single moment is so unpredictable, so balanced between the dramatic/comedic, technical/emotional aspects…I can’t. I mean, simply can’t help but love it so much :D. Surprisingly underrated work too, I might add. It was really tough choice between Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, Marlon Brando in The Godfather, Al Pacino in The Godfather I and II, F.Murray Abraham in Amadeus, Robert De Niro in Raging Bull, Tony Leung in Lust, Caution and Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. It’s just my personal preference for the more restrained works (F.Murray Abraham comes next) as compared to the powerhouse performances that ultimately became the tipping point. I’m definitely not denying the brilliance of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro though. They both deservedly earned their legendary statuses for The Godfather and Raging Bull…it’s just more of a respect vs love kind of thing. I’m not afraid to admit that there have been times I love a performance that is admittedly weaker than the other…sometimes, it’s just a connection thingy 😀

It’s like although I think that Cate Blanchett not winning the Oscar for Blue Jasmine would be a crime, I secretly (not anymore, I guess) love Sandra Bullock’s powerful work in Gravity more.

Moving on to….

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Can someone please explain this movie to me? I’m not hating, I swear, but I honestly don’t know what to feel or what the film is trying to say after I finished watching it. It’s like, my bitter heart and cynical soul just cannot see things from Gump’s over simplistic perspectives of the Vietnam war (ice cream and ping pong), his mama’s life theories 101, a clearly messed up Jenny, a clearly messed up Jenny’s family, Lieutenant Dan’s plight…

I didn’t hate the film like most people do, because technically, it is certainly watchable and engaging. So moments are very well acted by Tom Hanks, although I didn’t love his work here. It’s just the way Forrest runs through life that leaves me more puzzled… I find it hard to buy that Gump’s an important figure in American politics and history, symbolically or realistically. However, I do think that there’s a deeper meaning/metaphor/message that the writer is intending to convey behind it all but it probably slipped past my admittedly hardened mind. I guess that when it comes to appreciating deep movies, I personally prefer realistic depiction to the whole “miracles”, and all…

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