At the 1991 Academy Awards, Silence of the Lambs became the first movie to "sweep," winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It won rightly so. Silence of the Lambs is one of the best films ever to hit the big screen.
Silence of the Lamb is a dramatic masterpiece. It follows the workings of trainee Clarice Starling as she gets thrust into a situation that someone of her stature isn't used to getting into, and she realizes that this is her way to advance, and also her way to help track down a serial killer. The movie is treated extremely seriously, ignoring some of the clichés that other serial killer films often use (of course, this one might have set the standard). The creepy thing is that the blend of direction and writing has created a new level of suspense that doesn't even need dark corners or action. The moments when Starling talks with Lecter in his cell are extremely suspenseful, and well done. The movie never lets its quality degrade, and it continues to escalate throughout. The escape scene is brilliant. The climatic scene in the dark is thrilling. Everything about Silence of the Lambs is superb.
The acting makes the movie what it is. As good as the writing is, as good as the direction is, as good as the plot is, The Silence of the Lambs would be nothing without the combined talent of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. Foster brings a hesitant yet ambitious innocence to the screen, and while she earned every ounce of that Oscar, it is Anthony Hopkins that steals the show. The brilliant yet psychotic nature of Hannibal Lecter could not come from any other man with such vividness and clarity as Hopkins. He is not the only one that has played Lecter, but he is Lecter.
The Silence of the Lambs is an incredible movie. It is gory, yet realistic. It is suspenseful, yet dramatic. It is scary and horrific, but it isn't a slasher. Everything is at its peak, and there is nothing quiet about The Silence of the Lambs.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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