In this long overdue second instalment of our ‘Ranked’ series, team Graffiti with Punctuation has selected their Top 10 Tom Hanks performances. The double Oscar Winner and (according to Readers Digest) ‘most trustworthy man in America’ is already being seen in trailers for Paul Greengrass’ docu-drama Captain Phillips; but until then we’ll sit on the GwP park bench, smash this box of chocolates and reminisce.
Here are the top Hanks films according to the GWP staff.
10. Road to Perdition: Michael Sullivan
The second film from Oscar Winner Sam Mendes’ (based on the graphic novel) featured Hanks showing the loving tenderness behind brutal Irish mob enforcer Michael Sullivan. The true highlight of Perdition comes as the legendary Paul Newman and Hanks jointly play a melancholy ditty on a piano.
9. Cast Away: Chuck Noland
Wilson! Yes Hanks second pairing with Robert Zemeckis sees him as our favourite Fed Ex man turned survivalist. This role is truly a testament to his bravery and magnetism as a performer. In a role that required not only an extreme physical transformation Hanks was required to carry the entire film, and fashion the first ever best supporting beach volleyball.
8. Cloud Atlas: Dr. Henry Goose / Hotel Manager / Isaac Sachs etc
It’s wonderful to see that as he’s aged Hanks isn’t afraid to take risks. In the Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer’s truly one of a kind Cloud Atlas Hanks plays 6 (Check that) count ’em 6 characters spanning from different times, with different dialects/races etc. The highlights are in the moments you feel Hanks is able to project the experience of his characters’ timeless soul in mere glances. It exponentially heightens the experience.
7. A League of Their Own: Jimmy Dugan
Drunk, cantankerous, grotesque AND loveable. Only Hanks embodying Jimmy Dugan could manage that balance. And who could forget his delivery of that infectiously quotable line – “There’s no crying in Baseball!”
6. The Green Mile: Paul Edgecomb
Faced with, for the most part, the most horrible human specimens it’s Hanks’ performance as empathy incarnate that anchors the audience to the reality of government sanctioned death. It’s also a testament to Hanks to stand out in the shadow of Michael Clarke Duncan’s incredible performance as John Coffee.
5. Toy Story: Woody (voice)
Woody is one of the most iconic animated careers ever and Hanks’ neurosis and theatrics are essential to breathing him to life.
4. Saving Private Ryan: Captain Miller
Even though Hanks thought he was ten years too old for Spielberg’s incredible ode to war, he delivered a powerhouse leading performance as the literal captain of this ensemble. Slightly overweight, malnourished and disguising his shaking hands are among his collection of imperfections that perfectly evokes the everyman that became heroes in the face of war. He ‘earns’ this praise.
3. Big: Josh Baskin
The body swap movie has been done to death, and often badly. Hanks’ sincerity and ability project the innocence of Josh through his eyes makes you adore him and ‘buy’ it throughout.
2. Philadelphia: Andrew Beckett
Oscar #1. In the wake of the AIDS fear mongering of the 80s Hanks’ everyman struggle of sexual persecution is an understated and relatable performance that garnered well-deserved praise. With fantastic supporting performances from Antonio Banderas, Denzel Washington and an ensemble of character actors this serious turn came to define Hanks’ career.
1. Forrest Gump: Forrest Gump
Oscar #2. Instantly iconic, perfectly pitched – there’s simply too many alliterative praises that you can heap upon Hanks’ Forrest.
Blake Howard – follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatman and listen to the audio review on That Movie Show 2UE here or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.