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Cast Away

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Cast Away

Starring: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 143 Minutes
Release Date: December 2000
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Viveka Davis, Valerie Wildman

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Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

Along with a sure-fire Oscar nomination, Tom Hanks gets my vote for this year's REAL "Survivor." In this contemporary Robinson Crusoe tale, Hanks plays a busy FedEx executive who waves good-bye to his girl-friend , Helen Hunt, saying "I'll be right back." They've just exchanged Christmas gifts. She gave him her grandfather's pocket watch with her photo inside and he gave her a little, square jeweler's box, presumably an engagement ring. Then there's the harrowing agony of a terrifying plane crash, and Hanks washes ashore on a tiny, deserted speck of an island in the Pacific Ocean. How will he find water, food and shelter with nothing but the clothes he's wearing, a scavenged flashlight and the contents of FedEx boxes strewn on the beach? Using ingenuity, he turns ice-skate blades into knives, videotape into rope, dress material into a fishing net and triumphantly builds a fire. With his own blood, he paints a face on a volleyball and it becomes his companion named Wilson. But even more important than his grueling physical and mental endurance is his metaphysical meditation in the solitary silence and his eventual transformation from a selfish, time-obsessed workaholic into a thoughtful, mature man, fully capable, four years later, of coping with a challenging crossroad of choices. Actor/producer Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis, who collaborated on another Everyman journey called "Forrest Gump," superbly craft this risky, often humorous film and, along with writer William Broyles Jr., they are as distinguished for the paths not chosen, the pitfalls avoided. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Cast Away" is an intense, ironic, insightful 10 - one of the 10 Best Pictures of the Year. It's not just a movie - it's an experience.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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