Figuratively the feather being blown around is us, not Gump or American history. What’s blowing it around is a Hollywood wind machine exuding hot air, and what’s guiding its trajectory is an invisible wire pulled by a puppet master... I can’t say I wasn’t moved. The sweetness of Tom Hanks’s performance, and Zemeckis’s mastery as a storyteller and technical wizard, can’t be denied. If the movie were less skilled and effective, I’d have less reason to feel such rage about what it’s doing.
That merging of the real with the impossible is both pivotal to the film at a conceptual level...and deeply problematic... Yet there remains something to be said for Forrest Gump's commitment to its vision, one that's alternately beautiful and naïve. It might hit you right in the feels, even as your eyes are rolling. To quote one of Forrest's truest pieces of wisdom: Maybe both is happening at the same time.