The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

JONATHAN DEMME

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

USA, 1991.  , .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions.  

Thomas Harris’s second novel involving the terrifying Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter becomes one of the greatest thriller-horror films of all time. Jodie Foster is riveting as Clarice Sterling, an FBI agent in training whose aspirations to become a part of the Behavioural Sciences program come true quicker than she had originally hoped. Agent  entrusts her to perform a routine interview with the famous Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), who might know crucial information about a serial killer called Buffalo Bill, and Sterling’s job is to play innocent and get whatever help she can out of him.  What she actually does is get knee-deep in the search for Bill, forming an oddly close friendship with the psychopathic Lecter based on his respect for her honesty and clarity of vision. Jonathan Demme’s classic is a terrifying and mindboggling masterpiece of suspense, one which delights in subverting genres by having the female protagonist of a horror story become the hunter instead of the traditionally hunted. The superb acting, fantastic moody photography by Tak Fujimoto and impeccable editing combined with Ted Tally’s letter-perfect screenplay make for one of the most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have in front of a movie screen.

The Criterion Collection:  #13

Academy Awards:  Best Picture; Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins); Best Actress (Jodie Foster); Best Director (Jonathan Demme); Best Original Screenplay
Nominations: Best Film Editing; Best Sound

Golden Globe Award:  Best Actress-Drama (Jodie Foster)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Actor-Drama (Anthony Hopkins); Best Director (Jonathan Demme); Best Screenplay

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