What can you say about the great Tom Hanks that hasn’t already been said? Since the early 1980s the Californian born actor, producer, writer, director has established himself as one of the most successful and popular Hollywood personalities of all time. His career has taken many turns, from comedic lead to Award winning movie star and almost everything Hanks touches turns to gold, and his clout in Hollywood is one that few people enjoy. With two Oscars for Best Actor under his belt, and a plethora of memorable performances in equally memorable films, there isn’t much that Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s most likeable everyman, can’t do.
In the sweeping historical sci-fi epic Cloud Atlas, (opening in UK cinemas today) Hanks takes his skill to a whole new level. Hanks anchors the film playing 6 different characters within a 400 year time span, and each performance is one to marvel at. In honor of the UK release of Cloud Atlas we take a look at 5 of Tom Hanks’ best performances, as well of 5 that weren’t so memorable.
5 Awesome Performances;
5. Big – Josh Baskin
In 1988 Tom Hanks was a young leading man with enough talent to open a film and deliver a hit, yet most of his earlier 80s role were pretty fluffy and not to be taken too seriously (Splash, Bachelor Party, Dragnet). However that all changed and people started to take notice of the charismatic star after his terrific turn in the comedy-fantasy Big. The movie was Hanks’ chance to capitalize on his boyish charm and audiences across the world well in love with the coming-of-age flick.
Small fry 12 year-old Josh Baskin makes a wish to become “Big”, and when he awakes the next morning his wish has come true, played with amazing eloquence by Hanks. What makes this far fetched premise work is Hanks’ performance in the lead and he soars as the ultimate child trapped in a man’s body. He gives his character and the role so many layers, and he delivers a hilarious and truly soulful performance.
For his performance in Big, Hanks was nominated for his first Best Actor Oscar, which at the time (and is still true today) was a rare occurrence for a comedy film.
This article was first posted on February 22, 2013