1995: The Year of the Gump











The Oscars have come and gone for the year, leaving in its wake a string of wins for “12 Years a Slave”, “Gravity”, and “Dallas Buyers Club”, amongst others.  There was no one movie that dominated the nominations and wins this year like there is some years.  During the mid 90s there was one such film who stole the show.  In 1995 the movie “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks racked up a whopping thirteen nominations which ultimately resulted in wins in six of those categories.

The academy awarded Tom Hanks a statue for best actor in a leading role, Robert Zemeckis for best director, and Arthur Schmidt for film editing.  The film “Forrest Gump” itself brought home Oscars in the categories of visual effects, writing, and best picture.  Gump mania had begun.

In 1995 and the next few years it seems like nearly everyone owned the VHS movie and CD soundtrack from the movie.  Forrest Gump was cool.  There was something for everyone in the movie.  There were messages of peace, tolerance, safe sex, the dangers of drugs, the horrors of war, the value of friendship, the importance of family, the reality of domestic abuse, fate, love, loyalty, and well… pretty much every human emotion, characteristic, relationship, and hot topic of the day.  It was just one big grab bag of emotions.

The music wasn’t too shabby either.  Classic rock seemed to experience a revival among younger listeners.  It wasn’t unusual to hear high school students adding Creedence Clearwater Revival, Simon & Garfunkel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Doors to CD collections that had previously consisted mainly of popular artists of the day like Tupac, Coolio, Boyz II Men, Notorious B.I.G., Seal, and TLC.  We were just cool like that.

While I look back and wonder if the movie (and the music) was worth all of the hype, there is certainly no denying that the movie had a powerful impact upon the entertainment industry and the pop culture of the 90s.  Do you think that in the 2030s anyone will be looking back at 2014 and thinking about how iconic the 2014 Oscar winning movies were?

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One Response


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