The Star of the Show

        Actors are always the focal point in a movie. They set the stage and often times blow you away with their dramatic performances. Two actors that I believe have made a huge contribution to the art of cinema are Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. The reason I choose these two is that I honestly believe these two actors have made some of the most amazing films.

        Tom Hanks, in 1992, starred in one of the most beautiful movies ever made, Forrest Gump, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Hanks plays a mentally handicapped man who tells his life story to everyone that sits next to him on the bus stop bench. At first most people think he is crazy; but, by the end of their stay waiting for their bus, most of them are enthralled. It is the story of how he grows up in Greenbow, Alabama. He meets a girl named Jennie (Robin Penn Wright). They stay friends all through high school. When they graduate, they go their separate ways. Forrest goes off to Vietnam, and Jennie gets really involved in the experimental drug scene. Tom Hanks does this role as if he were born to do it. His acting as a mentally challenged man could not have been done any better.

        Tom Hanks also blew away the silver screen in the film Road to Perdition, directed in 2002 by Sam Mendes. Hanks plays a hit man whose son has witnessed him murder a man. When his mob friends find out his son knows they try to kill his son and family. Most of the film is spent trying to get away from the mob. Tom Hanks was made for this role as well. I think he had to put on a little weight to play this role, but when one sees him in his trench coat and Tommie gun, one would not hesitate to think he was a gangster.

        Another actor who has made a huge contribution to cinema is Tom Cruise. I honestly believe that Tom Cruise was born to act. He has made so many amazing films, but I will only discuss a few. His role as a rebellious pilot named Maverick in Top Gun, directed in 1986 by Tony Scott, is one that will go down in history as one of the best films of all time. I know that at least it is one of my favorites. In this film, his role as a pilot was perfect. Although he had made films before this one, this one really kicked his career into high gear. He not only plays a pilot, but also a lover. He is fairly young in this movie, but not too young to fall in love with the leading lady, Charlotte 'Charlie' Blackwood, (Kelly McGillis). He plays sadness so well, when his partner, Goose (Anthony Edwards), dies due to his breakdown in the cockpit.

        Tom Cruise has done many films; in between this one was his role as a protective father in the film War of the Worlds, directed in 2005 by Steven Spielberg. There was a lot of hype on this film that it would live up to H. G. Wells' expectations. The film makers could not have done any better than by putting Tom Cruise as the star of the movie. His reactions to the initial alien issue are perfect. The scene in which he finally gets his children, Rachel (Dakota Fanning) and Robbie (Justin Chatwin) in the stolen van and explains to his son what he saw is priceless. In one scene in the film, he has to kill a man, Harlan Ogilvy (Tim Robbins) because he is risking his daughter's life by being too loud. This scene is very intense, but Tom Cruise and his amazing acting create no problems for the director.

        I chose Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise because, even though their acting and their films are totally different, they have done so much in the world of acting. These are my two favorite actors and for a good reason. Many people have admired these two men as role models, and as well they should. They will continue to make amazing films, and both have new ones coming out now including The Da Vinci Code and Mission Impossible 3.

Danielle Cain

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