The Silence of the Lambs
This is one of the greatest films ever made and is easily in my top 10.
It was released in 1991 and the expectations for this movie were in fact, slim to none. It has been called “One of the biggest Sleeper films of all time.” It was nearly released directly to video, so low were the hopes for it, yet it went on to win astounding critical acclaim and 5 Oscars.
A fair amount of Credit should first be given to Tom Harris, the author of the book also titled “The silence of the Lambs.” Ted Talley adapted the book for film in his very well done Screen play. Initially Names like Gene Hackman and Michelle Pfeiffer were associated with the project but on reading the script, both passed due to its violent and heavy nature. This was a blessing in disguise as the ending combination was so amazingly synergistic it could not have worked out any other way.
Jodie Foster delivers hugely as F.B.I. agent Clarice Starling alongside Ted Levine as Jame Gumb the Buffalo bill killer (Levine reportedly had something like a nervous break down after the Movie was released due to death threats and harassment from people that were SO effected by his portrayal of the terrifying psycho killer that they could not beleive he was simply “acting”) and of course the unforgettable Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Everyone in the film is fantastic and I personally really enjoyed the chemistry between Starling and the character Jack Crawford played by none other than Scott Glenn.
I will avoid a total plot summary (WATCH THIS MOVIE!) but I can say with total conviction that everyone involved with this film played their respective parts to perfection.
Credit needs to be given to Tak Fujimoto the Director of Cinematography for creating the eerie visuals that really make the scenes with Lecter and Starling jump out at you from the Screen. He did this by putting the cameras only inches away from the Casts faces first making them uncomfortable but also restricting the movement that they were allowed to do as any adjusting of positions would cause the cameras to refocus and this noise could be picked up on the audio track. It became critical that in these situations the Actors and Actresses remained completely still. This gives many scenes a tight immediate feeling. It crawls off the screen and across the room and buries itself in your chest for the entire Movie.
Although everyone in this film is superb, Hopkins steals the show becoming the most popular villan in contemporary culture: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He is just entrancing and horrible. He only had about 16 minutes of real on screen time in the entire film yet he managed to 1. get an Oscar, and 2. Permanently burn himself into our collective psyches. A performance worth seeing again if you have watched it already.
This movie for me gets 2 thumbs up, 10 points and an A+. It really is that GREAT/HORRIBLE.
A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.