← Back to Reviews
\

Tom Hanks received his first Oscar nomination for his charismatic performance in Big, a 1988 comic fantasy that became a box office smash and made Hanks an official cinematic superstar.

This is the story of Josh Baskin (David Moscow), a 12-year old kid who goes to a carnival one night and makes a wish on a Zoltar machine to be big. Josh goes home from the carnival dejected because he thinks his wish didn't come true, but the next morning when Josh wakes up, he has become a 35 year old man (Hanks), physically, but he still has the heart, soul, and brain of a 12-year old.

With the aid of Penny Marshall's sharp direction (easily her best work) and a clever screenplay by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, Hanks flawlessly plays a 12-year old kid...it's so much fun watching Josh get excited about things that bore adults and vice versa. I love Josh's reaction to getting his first paycheck and asking for it in singles when he gets it cashed or when he's sitting in a staff meeting at the toy company he works for and all he wants to do is play with the toys. It's also interesting watching Josh try to adjust to being an adult while trying to maintain his friendship with his best friend Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), but between his job and his relationship with an attractive co-worker (Elizabeth Perkins), his friendship with Billy does reach an impasse.

Hanks has a strong supporting cast here including Perkins, who had her first major film role here, John Heard as an antagonistic co-worker, Robert Loggia as his boss and Mercedes Ruehl as Josh's mother, who really scores in a lovely little scene where she and Billy share their feelings about missing Josh on his birthday.

A nearly perfect screen comedy that just gets more entertaining everytime you watch it. I mean, can you ever really get tired of Hanks and Loggia playing "Heart and Soul" on that giant keyboard? Later turned into a Broadway musical.