Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Thought or two on the Oscars

A Thought or two on the Oscars

That bit with Tom Hanks and the Oscar acceptance speech underlined something for Mr. Hanks that's been bugging me for years.

Hanks is absolutely one of the best and most underrated physical comedians of his or any other generation. He manages to make his whole person work toward the joke without getting overly hammy and outstriding the joke. He's aware of the fact that a little ham is necessary, but it has to be kept within reason. No motion is wasted, and every move is within the confines of whatever joke he's telling.

He's cognizant of the fact that body language, in comedy, is at least as important as verbal cues. You have to be comfortable, and adaptable, with comedy. Relaxed. I think it's safe to say that the best screen comedian has to be comfortable and at ease with themselves, as well.

I'm not sure exactly what my point here is, except that Tom Hanks is a gifted, easy comedian. And I think it's a shame that he doesn't do more big screen comedy. The remake of Ladykillers was a nice start, I thought. He was good in Ladykillers. Excellently ghoulish. It's a shame that the rest of the movie was such a turd.

I hope that one hasn't turned Hanks (and whomever helps him in his role decisions) away from comedy for long. Lord knows the 90's, when he got all dramatic for years and years, was a long time in between.

And don't get me wrong. I like the dramatic Tom Hanks. I liked Forrest Gump. I liked Philadelphia. Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies.

But I also like the Tom Hanks that you see in A League of their Own, and Big. I like the SNL Tom Hanks. I like the Tom Hanks we saw in tonight's Oscar Speech Vignette.u


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