Happy birthday, Robert Zemeckis: Must-watch films by maverick director
Robert Zemeckis, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, has made us ponder the true meaning of life with Forrest Gump and took us on a journey to a stranded island in Cast Away. He left an indelible mark with his extraordinary cinematic marvels in his five-decade-long illustrious career. On his 71st birthday, here's a list of must-watch movies that showcase his innovative and experimental approach to filmmaking.
'Back to the Future' (1985)
Did you know Zemeckis's blockbuster hit film, Back to the Future, had one of the rockiest shootings ever? Zemeckis originally cast Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly, but after six weeks of shooting, in an unprecedented move, he decided to recast it with Michael J Fox. Despite the shaky start, the film was met with massive success and even earned Zemeckis his first Oscar nomination.
'Forrest Gump' (1994)
You might have come to know about Forrest Gump through its Bollywood remake Laal Singh Chaddha (2022) starring Aamir Khan, but the original 1994 film starred Tom Hanks. The movie received 13 Academy Award nominations and won several trophies, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Hanks. Zemeckis's magnum opus was undoubtedly, one of the greatest cinematic achievements in his illustrious career.
'Cast Away' (2000)
Zemeckis and Hanks's second collaboration resulted in the unforgettable film Cast Away. It featured Hanks as a FedEx executive—the sole survivor of a plane crash—stranded on a deserted island. Besides its gripping storyline and stunning cinematography, Hanks's performance was also appreciated, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Cast Away proved to be a testament to Zemeckis's incredible filmmaking skills.
'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988)
Back in 1988, Zemeckis achieved a remarkable feat with the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, where cartoon characters interact with human actors. Bob Hoskins played the character of a detective hired by the titular character—who is wrongly accused of murder. The film was a huge success, commercially and critically, and for its technical brilliance, it received six Oscar nominations and took home three awards.
'Romancing the Stone' (1984)
Starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, this film follows the journey of a romance novelist who sets off to South America to rescue her kidnapped sister. She eventually falls in love with a bird smuggler who assists her in the mission. Despite initial skepticism from critics, it achieved remarkable success and won several Golden Globe Awards, helping Zemeckis establish himself as a leading director.