In this multiple Oscar-winning thriller, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Her usually skillful and shrewd analyses of serial killers is challenged by her next subject, brilliant psychiatrist and violent psychopath cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
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Thomas Harris' novel may have been a gripping procedural and thriller; but for screenwriter Ted Tally and director Jonathan Demme, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is the chance to luxuriate in gothic horror, feminism and political satire ('something's wrong with America'). While Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Ted Levine are all on fire, this carefully constructed genre film has far too many moving parts. Solid but overrated.
Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is one of the all-time great performances in cinema history. The night-vision scene in Buffalo Bill's basement scared the hell out of me when I was younger.
Expertly crafted thriller that falls somewhere between crime procedural and psychological horror. Masterful performances all around, beautifully restrained cinematography - a severely haunting experience.
Foster excels as the agent, but it is Hopkins who forms the soul of "TSotL". Lecter, with blood smeared over his face forming the smile of a clown, is a likeable psycho we want to succeed. He is the trapped, debonair elan of a lost, polymath European elegance, frustrated by the numbskulls and procedures of the modern world.
There is so much to like. Beginning with an intelligent script all the way through the performances and direction. The photography is stunning. I never imagined breaking the fourth wall could work so well when done so often, and it does not even break the illusion. Its inclusion of gender politics only augments the realism. It makes us question ourselves, and that is, I suppose, the ultimate goal of cinema and art.
The ending of this film is brilliant. At least, from a male's perspective. The night vision tinted first-person sequence is surely one of the great statements on voyeurism. Jodie Foster is beautiful, sexy, and vulnerable as she swipes and stumbles through the dark. We have been ogling her the entire film and we ogle her now, except for one major difference: we now share our view with that of Buffalo Bill.
The way that Lecter and Starling are both outcasts -- Lecter a genius robbed of his potential due to his compulsions, and Starling disrespected and fawned over by her male colleagues in the FBI -- makes for one of the most compelling dysfunctional love stories in cinema. Meanwhile, the dark subject matter is handled with dignity; the female victims are shown sparingly.
I don't know why it took me this long to see this movie.
It is almost like watching theater; it centers so much on the characters.
I can see where X-files got its inspiration - Clarice is kind of like the original Scully!