Forrest Gump (1994)
Robert Zemeckis' wonderfully original Forrest Gump takes you on a journey through the life of the seemingly dim-witted but remarkably resourceful title character – an adventurous life of pseudo-realistic proportions which is constantly entangled with major historical events and figures of the second part of the 20th century. With its double attack on mind and soul, Forrest Gump forces you to reconsider some set perceptions about life in general and storytelling in particular. But most of all this is expert escapism which constantly dances elegantly between cerebral smugness and a dissection of human fallibility in all its glory. Mr. Gump himself is like an unwitting Messiah figure, doing all the hard work and exposing all humanity's banalities on our behalf – and letting us laugh at and with him in the process. He makes you feel strong when you're weak, makes you feel clever when you're foolish. Zemeckis' visionary aesthetics and Tom Hanks' extraordinary character creation complements and elevates each other, and the result is a film that defined its own genre and stands as one of the most successful and best of the 1990s – a beautiful and soulful journey through a life not lived.