It puts the reviews on the site or else the bugs will start to bite.
Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver, Contact) and Anthony Hopkins (Westworld, Bram Stoker’s Dracula) masterfully play off of each other in career defining roles in Jonathan Demme’s by far most famous film The Silence of the Lambs. The sleeper hit was the third film in history to sweep the Academy Awards earning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Silence was released in 1991, three years after the novel by Thomas Harris and five years after the first film involving serial killer Hannibal Lecter. That’s right! Everyone forgets that Hopkins wasn’t the first to play the cannibalistic character. That honor went to Brian Cox in Michael Mann’s Manhunter.
The Silence of the Lambs follows young FBI trainee Clarice Starling on her first real test in capturing a madman named Buffalo Bill who skins his victims. In order to catch the depraved killer she enlists the help of the criminally insane Dr. Hannibal Lecter. What she doesn’t realize at first is that Lecter is playing her as much as he is helping. Will Clarice ever catch the murderer or will she succumb to the madness of the cannibal already behind bars?
A very smart and intriguing film, Silence puts you in a trance with knockout performances and psychological contemplation. I’m not sure this specific balance of gruesome imagery, cerebral exploration, and thrilling discovery will ever come together on the silver screen again. This film has already been quoted and referenced far beyond cliche-dom, but understandably so. If you are captivated up until and including the cleverly chilling epilogue and would like to explore the characters further then I would suggest watching the Hannibal TV series next (despite its cut-short conclusion), for it delves deeper into its own universe than this trilogy could. But if you do decide to push on with the movies…
“Won’t you join me for the sequels?”
5 quiet sheep out of 5