Tom Hanks received his fifth Oscar nomination for portraying Chuck Noland in Cast Away.
Tom Hanks is an actor I have had quite the mixed view on. I found him unimpressive in Forrest Gump, and Philadelphia, but I thought he was good in Saving Private Ryan. Well there is a distinct difference between those two roles. In Gump and Philadelphia he put on a voice, mannerisms, and portrayed two different characters very different from himself, but in Ryan he portrayed just normal guy. Well in Cast Away he portrays just a normal guy once again.
At the beginning of the film Hanks portrays Chuck Noland as an average guy who is not particularly special, but is concerned always about business and time. Hanks is fine in these early scenes quickly establishing the over working nature of the character, as well as being charming enough in an average guy sort of way. Hanks is good enough here to make someone you want to follow, even though his character is not one of the most original or unique characters which is really the point since he is suppose to be really average.
Well his plane goes down over the ocean and ends up alone on a island. Hanks is good here because hd never shows Chuck's struggle as anything more than as an average man. He also is basically silent in his early moments as he just tries to comprehend his situation and to see what he can do. Hanks is quietly effective and allows the proper amount of empathy with his character as he struggles to find ways to survive on the island.
Hanks is very good particularly in his way of finding how to start a fire looking at the packages, finding what he has and what he is capable of doing. Hanks is effective because he really is realistic in his way of trying different things, and really showing a slow learning process of Chuck on the island. He also is effective in his show of the characters pain, which is realistically and effectively shown by Hanks. He seems like an actual tired man on the island, and in that situation rather than an actor.
Hanks performance does become gradually louder though as he becomes more successful on the island as well as slightly losing his mind due to his time on the island. An effective change is actually done by Hanks as he begins to talk to his volleyball friend Wilson, and becomes more and more skilled at living on the island. I actually thought that Hanks actual managed to make Chuck's change slow and gradually effective. I also felt his relationship with Wilson was actually believably, and even honestly portrayed.
Well so he gets off the island and finds his way back home. Surprising enough I felt this held some of the best moments of Hanks' performance. Hanks truly shows that the island has deeply effected Chuck showing his sad history through his face especially well. Also his method of looking at everything not on the island is handled quite believably. His best scene though I think his his conversation with his friend at the end where he speaks of his thoughts on what happened to him, Hanks carefully creates a deeply moving scene, showing a honestly thoughtful and changed man from his workaholic in the film's opening. Overall this is actually a strong performance from Hanks, giving an effective one man show as well as showing quite effectively complete transformation of a man.