Tom Hanks has been in so many great movies. And he’s been great in so many not so great movies. He will be honored with the Globe’s DeMille award, joining past recipients Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Audrey Hepburn, Harrison Ford, Jodie Foster, Sophia Loren, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington, and Robin Williams. Hanks has won 4 times for Big, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, and Castaway. He’s been nominated 9 times. Of those 9, Oscar has taken 5 of them and given him 2 wins back to back for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. If you were around then you will remember his speeches were the stuff of legends.
He was nominated for two more Oscars after that, for Saving Private Ryan and Castaway but since 2001, even though he’s done films like Road to Perdition, Captain Phillips (Best Picture nominee), Saving Mr. Banks (should have been a Best Picture nominee), Bridge of Spies (Best Picture nominee), and The Post (Best Picture nominee), Hanks has never been recognized.
My own theory is the combination of three things: the first, they think two Oscars back to back is “enough.” The second, he made a few movies that were considered “disappointments.” And the third, he’s the star of Forrest Gump, the movie lots of people love and lots of people love to hate. Personally, I love Tom Hanks. I always have, I always will. He was in Cloud Atlas, come on people. By all accounts he’s one of the actual nice people working the nest of vipers otherwise known as Hollywood and that should count, even if it doesn’t.
Now Hanks is up again as Mr. Rogers in Marielle Heller’s It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. So you might think this is odd timing, considering he’ll be a nominee, possibly a winner on the same night as the a DeMille tribute – sure, it happens. It happened with Meryl Streep and Florence Foster Jenkins, for instance.
I personally have never thought anyone but Hanks was in the running to win Best Supporting Actor this year, if indeed that is the way it’s going to go, but there’s a long way to go yet and the competition is fierce, as they say. Much ado will be made about Brad Pitt “not campaigning” for the Oscar (would you, if you were him?) but Hollywood has a long history of withholding Oscars from good looking men unless they somehow wreck those good looks so I was never all that confident in that prediction. But, as I said, you never know. Anthony Hopkins is great in The Two Popes, Sterling K. Brown is fantastic in Waves. Who knows what we’re going to do with Joe Pesci or Al Pacino in The Irishman, etc.
Congratulations to Mr. Tom Hanks. A well deserved accolade for a really good egg.