CASTAWAY
2000, 20th Century Fox, 143 min, USA, Dir: Robert Zemeckis

Fed Ex executive Tom Hanks takes what he thinks is a routine flight and ends up stranded on a desert island when his plane crashes and kills everyone else on board. As he realizes that no one is coming to save him, Hanks's character is forced to adapt to life alone on the island. The result is a tour-de-force of performance (Hanks spends the majority of the movie with no other actors to play off of) and visceral, experimental filmmaking by Robert Zemeckis.


YOU'VE GOT MAIL
1998, Warner Bros., 119 min, USA, Dir: Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron puts a modern-day spin on Ernst Lubitsch's THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER as Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan play rival bookstore owners who think they hate each other yet fall in love behind alternate identities online. Both a wonderfully intimate romantic comedy and a broad ensemble portrait of Ephron's beloved Upper West Side, YOU'VE GOT MAIL boasts a stellar cast that includes Dabney Coleman, Dave Chappelle, Greg Kinnear and Parker Posey.


SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
1993, Sony Repertory, 105 min, USA, Dir: Nora Ephron

Widower Sam (Tom Hanks) can't get over his late wife, but son Jonah wants him to find a new partner. Jonah gets his dad to call into a radio show, and Sam's voice gets the attention of engaged but restless reporter Annie (Meg Ryan). What follows, in Nora Ephron's breakthrough movie as a director, is a contemporary riff on AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER that's as funny as it is profoundly romantic.


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