The Silence of the Lambs
Directed by Jonathan Demme
I just watched the Siskel & Ebert review for this film on YouTube. Siskel called the film "exploitative" and said that "the horrors of female abuse are too much with us, I think now, to be trifled with more in the movies." It's, perhaps, a valid point and the horrifying depiction of a trans man still makes me cringe. Still, the performances in this film are incredible and it works quite effectively as a thriller.
Clarice Starling, a FBI trainee, is asked to interview Hannibal Lecter in prison. Hannibal is a former psychiatrist and serial killer, who also seems to be omniscient. The FBI believe Hannibal might provide insight in tracking down another serial killer, Buffalo Bill, who skins his female victims. It quickly becomes clear that Hannibal might become more of a threat than Buffalo Bill, despite being incarcerated. But at least Hannibal doesn't dance.
I have to give this film five stars on the basis of Anthony Hopkins' performance alone. Every expression, every inflection, and every movement he does is absolutely perfect. It kind of makes Brian Cox's performance look embarrassingly bad. Of course, Cox didn't have a brilliant script to work with like Hopkins did.
Jodie Foster is also fantastic here; the kind of reluctant respect and reverence she has for Hannibal is fascinating. Definitely a disturbing film that, unfortunately, ruined the song "American Girl" for me.
Only horror film to win Best Picture.
The majority of the film was shot in Pittsburgh. I actually pass the building where Hannibal was kept in his cage nearly every day. Lovely.