Here’s a little bit of advice about the SAT essay: If you decide to use an example from a movie, try to avoid this sort of thing:
“The idea that individual success in life must come at the cost of others’ happiness is called into question by Tom Hanks in the film Forrest Gump. In the movie, Tom Hanks, a very kind but less-than-intelligent man, finds himself present at many important historical events …”
The problem here isn’t the topic or the use of a film as an example. It’s that Tom Hanks isn’t Forrest Gump. He plays Forrest Gump. (Tom Hanks, by most accounts, is both very kind and very intelligent.) And while we may understand what the writer means here, confusing an actor and his or her character in an SAT essay throws up a red flag for the reader.
Instead of using the actor’s name, show that you’re a sophisticated writer by using the name of the character or indicate that you know the difference (e.g. “…is called into question by Tom Hanks’s character in the film Forrest Gump…”)