I don’t go to the movies very often and I am really not sure why. I enjoy a good movie, although I admit my taste is anything but mainstream. I’m not into anything scary. Too much suspense unnerves me. Violence is a total turnoff. Sophomoric humor is stupid and adventure stuff usually doesn’t keep me interested. There now, perhaps I have answered my own question. No wonder I don’t see many movies.
So what do I like? Well, there isn’t any one genre that I favor, but it seems it’s the characters and the story that hold me. In fact, if either is really good, I willingly tolerate some of those items I mentioned as not liking in the first paragraph. Then too, I don’t need a lot of fancy effects, earth-quake sound that vibrates my teeth or weird aliens. That said, there are two actors whose work I always seem to be drawn to. Both are very high-profile, both have a trail of award-winning films and both have the ability of doing something extraordinary. What’s that? They prove me pretty vulnerable. I can get totally lost in the character they are playing at the moment and I forget all about who the actor is and what other roles I’ve seen him or her play. They just convince me each time that they are actually the characters they are playing in the film I am watching…and only those characters.
So who are these two pen-ultimate actors so worthy of my humble praise? No surprise here because they are likely the favorites on many best-actor lists. They are Tom Hanks
and Sally Fields. I just watched the latter in a 2015 movie titled, “Hello, My Name is Doris.” That’s the reason I started writing this posting for my blog even though I am not quite sure where it’s going. But Sally did it again. Doris was Doris, not a character being played the familiar actor Sally Fields. Like every role she has ever played, from, yes, the Flying Nun, to Norma Rae to Nora Walker, Sally Fields becomes whoever and whatever the character is and represents.
Tom Hanks has this same ability. How can he go from Forest Gump to Captain Miller (Saving Private Ryan) to Chuck Nolan (Cast Away) and all the other people he has played while maintaining each role’s character and discarding any semblance to the actor himself is…well, it’s true art.
It’s almost curious that both Hanks and Fields have won 2 Oscars each. I suspect many of us would think more. However, they both have a long, long list of other prestigious awards, not the least of which is Hanks’ Presidential Medal of Freedom.
As a humble, amateur writer I have always appreciated the artful skills of the truly accomplished. These are the people who motivate me, and many like me, to keep trying to improve our own skills. I often joke about someday winning a Pulitzer and something like a good performance in an otherwise obscure movie most people never heard of is enough to make me keep this keyboard close at hand. Thank you Sally Fields. As per your now infamous Oscar acceptance speech...I really liked you!