Tom Hanks doesn’t have much to complain about these days. He’s one of the most recognizable movie stars in the world and has two Oscars on his mantel for his Best Actor performances in “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994). However, despite all that, Hanks has actually been treated pretty poorly by the film academy. In fact, his last Oscar nomination was a whopping 17 years ago for “Cast Away” (2000). Since Hanks won’t complain, we’ll complain on his behalf. Tom, you’ve been unforgivably robbed!
The jury is still out on whether Hanks gives an Oscar-caliber performance in “The Post” as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, as the film has not yet screened for critics (watch the trailer here). But just looking at the past 17 years since his last recognition, we can think of five times that Hanks should have earned Oscar nominations, if not wins. See our writer Tom O’Brien‘s descriptions below and then click through our photo gallery of Tom Hanks movies at the bottom of this post.
“Sully” is the real-life drama depicting the 2009 water landing of a US Airways jet onto New York’s Hudson River by Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Hanks) and First Capt. Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), whose actions saved the lives of 155 passengers and crew. Sully’s actions, however, began to be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who felt that he could have made it back safely to New York area airports and not ditched the aircraft.
“Bridge of Spies” (2015)
Hanks teamed up with director Steven Spielberg a fourth time in this Cold War legal thriller in which insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Hanks) is surprised to be named the legal representative of accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance in his Oscar-winning performance) and even more shocked to realize that he must give the accused spy the best defense that he can offer.
“Captain Phillips” (2013)
Based on accounts of the real-life 2009 hijacking of the unarmed container ship Maersk Alabama, “Captain Phillips” focuses on the captured ship’s leader, Richard Phillips (Hanks) who must go toe to toe with the pirates’ boss, Abduwali Muse (Oscar nominee Barkhad Abdi). Phillips is a role at which Hanks has always excelled — a perfectly ordinary guy suddenly thrust into extraordinary circumstances — and placed in a setting of extreme tension, his portrayal of Phillips resonated with audiences.
“Toy Story 3” (2010)
Arguably, the most beloved Tom Hanks performance was his voice work as Sheriff Woody Pride in the three “Toy Story” films. Woody, the leader of all the toys in young Andy Davis’ bedroom and Andy’s personal favorite, possesses all of the special qualities of many of Hanks’ live-action heroes — he’s courageous, committed and determined to do what is right, even if on occasion he displays some jealousy toward Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). Alas, voice-over performances never get the recognition they deserve at the Oscars.
“Road to Perdition” (2002)
Hanks’ casting as mobster Michael Sullivan turned out to be a shrewd one, with Hanks’ family-friendly image helping to emphasize the fact that, despite being a gangster movie, “Road to Perdition” is primarily about family and the lengths to which you would go to save or avenge them.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.