MoMA Film Benefit Presented By CHANEL, A Tribute To Tom Hanks - Arrivals
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As many of us reel from the election last week, some of our loudest voices continue to attempt to make sense of what just happened. Some want to lay blame. Some want to ask “what if?” And some want to plan for the future. For example, legendary documentarian Michael Moore suggested Tom Hanks or Oprah Winfrey run president. Michael’s argument boiled down to the idea that both celebrities are beloved.

Yesterday at an event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Tom Hanks didn’t exactly prove him wrong. During his ten minute speech, Tom proved once again why he’s one of our favorite celebrities. Tom was honored by MoMA at its annual film benefit, and his words deftly tied the work of artists to the work of America in a way that seemed very presidential.

Speaking to attendees at MoMA, Tom Hanks insisted that we can always turn to films in times of turmoil.

Tom referenced classic films like The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and True Grit to explain that we all see ourselves in films, which gives us a perfect means to remember what we stand for.

Tom admitted that he, like anyone, constantly puts himself in the position of a film’s characters.

Tom laughed off the fact that not all films are successes. Not even all of his films. For instance, his film Lady Killers was called a bad Coen Brothers movie to his face by a reporter, Tom recounted in speech. But that doesn’t make those films any less important.

Tom then turned the conversation to America, and he reassured everyone that we’ve been here before.

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Tom outlined for the crowd how he lived through days like this, when we questioned our leaders. He has seen violence in the streets. He’s witnessed arguments over dinner that pulled at the fabric of families. But, he reminded the audience, we’re protected by the Constitution, the foundations of our country.

Tom argued that what makes the United States great is that we’re constantly trying to fulfill that document. We’re trying to make our country a more perfect union.

Tom then used the metaphor of a typewriter he has. A similar typewriter is on display at MoMA. The Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter was a simple machine that one company decided to make beautiful.

Tom made a sly remark referencing Michael Moore’s call for him to run for president. He insisted that he’s “not qualified,” but that’s not totally true based on his speech. Tom ended with a beautiful sentiment that could brighten all of our tough days ahead.

We’re not sure Tom successfully downplayed his qualifications for president, because his speech sounded very presidential.

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty

Wouldn’t those two make a fabulous first family? We’re just saying, Tom. Regardless, we’re inspired now. You can read the full text of Tom’s speech here.

We think we’re up for Tom Hanks’ challenge. If we all work together, we can turn our country into a thing of beauty.