Tom Hanks Only Has Two Academy Awards

As much of a legend as Tom Hanks is as an actor (and several other titles), he only has two Oscar wins in his career.

While that might sound paltry based on his output and skill, winning two back-to-back Best Actor Oscars is still a rare feat. Considering Daniel Day-Lewis is the only actor in a leading category to have three acting Oscars, Hanks does have more to achieve.

At the moment, Hanks is the only one other than Spencer Tracy to win two Best Actor Oscars back-to-back. Jack Nicholson joins the group, however, at two separate Best Actor Oscars wins, not including one for Supporting Actor.

With Hanks playing Fred Rogers this November in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, what are the chances he’ll tie Day-Lewis?

Can we garner clues to his complete performance from the trailer?

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks | Jordi Vidal/Getty Images

The first ABDitN trailer was released the week of July 22, and social media immediately lit up at what the film looks like. What it proved is how much of a chameleon Hanks is since he truly does resemble Mister Rogers more than some skeptics thought he would.

At the same time, you can also argue he puts on a bit of his old Forrest Gump cadence when attempting to talk like Rogers. If you can say such a thing could easily doom this project into self-parody, just keep watching through the end of the trailer. It’s more than noticeable Hanks offers a very nuanced performance, particularly when we see Rogers as himself and being reflective during interviews.

All of it was enough to bring most people to tears. When a trailer does that, you know it has some Oscar potential. Most of us who remember seeing the original trailer for Forrest Gump in 1994 will remember the trailer brought a similar feeling.

If Hanks is nominated for another Oscar and wins, it might bring up one interesting aspect to this performance when matched against last year’s documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The same message was applied to a celebrated Mister Rogers documentary

We all see the clear message from A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Kindness is vastly important in the cruder culture we now live in. All it takes is one person to snowball this level of kindness so it’s universal.

This very same message was ever-present in the 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? from director Morgan Neville. In this, you can see the real story of Fred Rogers’ life, how he formed his philosophy, and how he created Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

One problem, though, is the film only played indie houses throughout America. It did well at the box office, yet perhaps its message didn’t resonate as profoundly as it should have.

Is it because a compelling actor like Hanks wasn’t involved? We now have an argument that if you want to send a strong cinematic message about kindness, it may require an Oscar-caliber actor to get the message across in a more compelling way.

If Hanks wins his third Oscar, it probably won’t stop there

The advantage to Hanks winning his first back-to-back Oscars in 1993/1994 was how young he still was then. Let’s all remember he was in his late 30s when this happened, which is more than a little amazing.

Giving Hanks an Oscar for portraying Fred Rogers will also help make up for the Academy not nominating Won’t You Be My Neighbor? for Best Documentary or even Best Picture last year. Their neglect on this is still puzzling, outside of so many good films being made in 2018.

At least we can say Hanks winning an Oscar at age 63 is still young enough where he could win a fourth before he’s 80. Others have won at this age, meaning he could someday become the only male actor to have the most Oscar wins for Lead. Unless Daniel Day-Lewis swoops in at the last minute from retirement.