It’s not that he gives a bad performance. For God’s sake, he is Tom bloody Hanks! But he doesn’t have that amount of screen time that one would consider enough to give him the award. In Cast Away, for example, he owned the screen, he was overpowering, and his physical dedication to the role could have given him a third statuette in less than a decade. But it was the year of Gladiator, so we will have to forget about it.
Let’s not get this wrong: Captain Phillips is a ridiculously good film. Paul Greengrass does some of his best crazy work here with the camera -keeping us restless ALL THE TIME- and Hanks portrays Phillips with an emotional touch and coolness at the same time. Because he is Tom Hanks, the only guy who can transform playing a giant keyboard into an acting masterpiece -and eating a baby corn.
Some of the best acting scenes come at the end, because the main core is action. The last moments with Phillips are very intense and emotional, and they make us viewers feel like we just got rid of a heavy load we had been carrying for two hours, so by the end, we can just relax and feel overwhelmed by everything we have witnessed, the same way Hanks’ character does. That is what makes the ending so touching, what makes it so easy for us to relate.
But, Jesus Christ, you cannot catch a breath at all. It is pure action -try to watch The Bourne Ultimatum and be relaxed at the same time. Impossible-, and that is what everyone should keep in mind before watching the film. This is not Philadelphia, not Forest Gump or Road To Perdition -boy, that film was good.
NONETHELESS, the glorious Academy just loves biopics, especially those of American figures.Think of this: Aileen Wuornos, Ray Charles, Katharine Hepburn, June Carter, Truman Capote, Harvey Milk, Leigh Anne Tuohy, Dicky Eklund, Alice Ward, Abraham Lincoln… And I’m only taking account of the last 10 years!
If Tom Hanks wins an Oscar for Captain Phillips, it will be well deserved, because he should win the statuette for every single film he makes. After all, he is is the most likeable man in Hollywood.
Note: a special mention to Barkhad Abdi, who freaked the hell out of me with his portrayal of Muse, the main leader of the pirates. Scary is a small word to describe the feeling.