Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Forrest Gump Rant

The single most impressive feature of this movie, in my opinion, is Tom Hanks's absolutely virtuoso performance, a performance that won him an Oscar and cemented his status as one of the preeminent actors of his generation. It's a performance that's so astonishingly good that, as one's watching it, one cannot help but to see it as exactly that, a performance, as artifice. You're constantly thinking, "My god! It's like he's really mentally impaired!" And yet, it's an artifice that is erected (ostensibly) in the service of idiotic ingenuousness. Such acting is exactly *not* what Forrest does. He can't lie, much less pull on another's skin and flaunt it like a dancer at carnival. Fact of the matter is, we wouldn't actually want to watch a movie starring a man with an IQ of 75. Which is also to say that we don't *actually* want Forrest Gump in our lives any more than we *actually* want a gross fucking pigeon pigeon feather to land in our box of chocolates. We want a perfectly performed imitation that we can use to reassure ourselves that we like persons of limited intelligence and unblinking earnestness, all while we *really* celebrate Tom Hanks's performance and the clever folks at Industrial light and Magic for computer generating such a lovely, lyrical, and certifiably West Nile Virus-free simulacrum of a feather.