Today y'all living in nice places will be able to head out to your local cinemas and go catch Cloud Atlas the latest film starring Tom Hanks. If you missed you can read my review from TIFF here, I thought it was great. However, this got me thinking as to what were the ten roles that Mr. Hanks has played over the years that I've loved... read the following:
10. Charlie Wilson - Charlie Wilson's War (2007)Definitely aided by the fun Aaron Sorkin screenplay here's a role where Hanks gets to enjoy monologuing and being smarter than everyone else in the room a lot more than possibly his other roles.
9. Joe - Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)Is there someone out there who doesn't like this movie? It's the right kind of silly romantic comedy which plagued Hanks' first few years as an actor, but while it stopped him from going on to do the more memorable roles we all know him for he still excelled at this frivolous roles so well that we loved them anyways.
8. Chuck Noland - Cast Away (2000)Who else could make a romantic relationship with a volleyball as adorable as Hanks does here? It's a film that didn't quite grab me initially, as I was still not ready to digest a film like this, but overtime I've come to admire the film for what it did. It predated a lot of the crazy survival films and took the minimal approach to blockbuster filmmaking that not many moves in 2000 took the time to do.
7. Viktor Navorski - The Terminal (2004)Some view this film as useless and too silly for it's own material. Regardless of those comments which have this thing called evidence to back them up it doesn't stop Hanks' performance from being anything but brilliant.
6. Forrest Gump - Forrest Gump (1994)When a film is able to be as earnest as this is and still be loved by all without ever questioning its intent then we know that it worked. Hanks' performance, which is know considered the one to look towards when discussing disabled performances, is none short of great. No matter how on the nose our characters may be it's when we believe in them and feel with them that everything came together in the right way.
5. Woody - Toy Story 1-3 (1999 - 2010)When Pixar was just starting out Hanks' became the guinae pig of the voice acting gig to show the world that it can make a difference. His affectations are what makes Woody the sheriff that can't have his position in the group questioned so lovable. The way he becomes completely flustered as he begins to lose a grip on the world around him piece by piece is what helps the film be an even more effective piece of storytelling.
4. Michael Sullivan - Road to Perdition (2002)I could be wrong, but this may be the first time we're ever seeing Hanks play a morally questionable role. While his character walks away from the film on the moral high ground he does still stand on shaky ground since he starts out the film as a hitman from the mob.
3. Andrew Beckett - Philadelphia (1993)The most obvious Oscar bait of all of his films. The thing I love about Oscar bait, whether the storytelling in the film itself works or not when an actor (especially one as good as Hanks) does a film like this, for the most part, the performance delivered is great, and it is here. Some may argue that this is more of a Denzel Washington vehicle, but between the above scene and the great Opera scene Hanks wins for me.