Highlights: Tom Hanks
By Jason Barney
July 11, 2012
The courtroom scenes are intense, but not overdone. As a successful nod to the director, it is extremely sad watching the AIDS virus take its toll on Andrew Beckett. Hanks’ ability to communicate innocence, physical pain, and a real sense of having been wronged show acting ability above most others in the business.
Critics agreed, as Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for best Actor in 1993. His work was so memorable that the American Film Institute included his Beckett character in its top 100 heroes list. This was a defining role for him, and allowed many of the other famous works later in his career to be possible.
5) Toy Story 3 (2010)
This one is full of magic and has something for everyone. Animated movies are usually made for kids, but during the entire summer movie season of 2010 adults brought their kids to see Toy Story 3 and fell in love with it. From the opening scene, where the legendary characters of Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and the rest of the gang are part of Andy’s imagination, this one is full of thought provoking ideas about time, growing up, relationships, and aging.
Pixar delivers a most memorable tale of Andy’s childhood coming to an end. He is 18-years-old and is about to go to college. Departing his family’s home, he must decide what things to take with him. His mom and little sister want him to throw out everything he doesn’t need, Andy decides to keep his toys stashed away in the attic. In a freak happenstance, they get thrown out. And American families are given a real treat.
Tom Hanks as Woody is magnificent. While his voice is tense and high strung because of the situation the toys find themselves in, he is also convincing and the leader of the pack. He struggles to persuade the others that Andy still loves them, that he wasn’t letting go; even as they accept their new roles at the Sunnyside Daycare.
Toy Story 3 has some truly memorable scenes, some of the best in the franchise. Of particular note is when Woody’s friends believe they are going to be played with by loving, caring kids in the daycare. As the youngsters come in from recess, their play time is dominated by a bunch of little monsters. Bumps, bruises, and broken pieces result. Also, in a scene which truly made fans of Buzz Lightyear squirm, his reset button gets pushed. The maturity of the climax of film cannot go unmentioned. Where kids are dazzled by the colors and movement on the screen, parents connect with the relationships and meaning of it all.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about Toy Story 3 is its ability to return viewers of all ages to their childhoods. Kids play with the passion and energy displayed and find themselves captivated. Parents can’t help remembering back to the youthful time when life was simple, when play was real, not a memory.
And none of this is possible without the contributions of Tom Hanks’ voice. Woody is an appealing character, his love of his formative years reminds us all of playgrounds, childhood excitement, and letting go. His voice is key; his performance leads all who are old enough to ponder the question…will there be a Toy Story 4?
As a measure of how successful this pic was, it was the highest grossing film of 2010. Toy Story 3 received the Academy Award for Best Animated film. It was also in contention at the Academy Awards for Best Picture, a rare accomplishment for an animated film.