Photo by Flickr user Stephen Luff
Remember when Tom Hanks was America’s Dad? The all-around stand-up guy with two Oscars and a knack for roles that oozed charm and affability. But oh, how the tables have turned! These days, there’s a real case for calling Hanks the Oscar-winning embodiment of Hollywood humbuggery.
Let’s start with his foray into the world of virtue signaling, shall we? Hanks recently proclaimed that if Philadelphia, the movie that earned him one of his Oscars, were made today, it would be unacceptable for him, a straight man, to play the lead gay role. Who asked, Tom? Your acting chops were great in Philadelphia, no one’s doubting that, but who said you’re the arbiter of who can play what? Last I checked, acting was about pretending to be someone you’re not. Maybe someone should remind Tom of that.
And don’t get me started on his decision to become a citizen of Greece. While the conspiracy theories about his motives have been disproven, it still feels like a classic case of Hollywood elitism. Living the high life on a Greek island while the rest of us grapple with the realities of life. Talk about being out of touch!
Furthermore, let’s talk about his acting. Sure, Hanks can play the everyman with aplomb, but when was the last time he truly challenged himself? He’s built a career on being Hollywood’s nice guy, but where’s the depth? Even when he played a hitman in Road to Perdition, the character was a loving father, the movie a tale of paternal love. We get it, Tom. You’re a nice guy. Now show us something different.
Moreover, Hanks’ over-reliance on his ‘nice guy’ image gives an impression of predictability and lack of versatility in his roles. Critics have long drawn parallels between him and legendary actor Jimmy Stewart, but Hanks’ attempt to fit into these larger-than-life personas often feels forced and contrived. It’s high time he stopped trying to emulate others and carved a niche for himself by challenging the established perceptions about his acting abilities. Tom Hanks is far from the worst actor out there, but he’s certainly not the best. A more critical eye reveals a performer whose abilities are often overstated, and whose on-screen persona is decidedly monotonous.
The man also has a peculiar hobby that justifies a good eye-roll: typewriter collecting. I mean, who does that, right? It’s like he’s gone out of his way to be that guy who hangs out at hipster coffee shops, waxing poetic about the “brilliant combinations of art and engineering” found in typewriters. I can just imagine him, nestled in a cloud of nostalgia, gleefully clacking away while the rest of us are living in the 21st century. Seriously, what’s his next move? A quill and inkpot? Morse code? Smoke signals? And it’s not just that he collects them – he’s amassed hundreds of these dust collectors, like they’re Pokémon cards or something. Truly, nothing screams “I’m trying way too hard” like a man surrounded by piles of typewriters.
In short, Hanks may have won our hearts with his iconic roles and charming demeanor, but beneath the surface, there’s a startling lack of depth and abundance of useless collector’s items aimed at filling the void. Whether it’s his reluctance to take a strong stand on important issues, his evasion of challenging roles, or his move to Greece, Hanks represents the worst of Hollywood’s hypocrisy and elitism. It’s high time we saw through the façade.