Friday, January 31, 2014

Best Picture: "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991

Movie Stats:
Released 1991 (USA)
American, in English
Director – Jonathan Demme
Stars – Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Plot Summary:
With a serial killer who likes to skin women on the loose, FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Foster) is assigned to seek the help of incarcerated psychopath, and former psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins).

Violence, some of it graphic. Disturbing scenarios of a sexual nature. Very brief female nudity (breast only). Um, simulated naked vagina. Surprisingly minimal blue language for the type of movie it is.

Bad Stuff:
It’s gross. When the topics on-hand are sexual deviants, serial killers, and cannibals, a lot of stuff that occurs in the film is stuff that I’m going to find icky.

Good Stuff:
The thing I like the most about it is that it does a great job of setting a creepy tone right from the very beginning. There Clarice is, running the course at Quantico and you have no reason to believe that anything bad might happen to her but the way it’s set up (the weather is gray and presumably cold, she’s all alone, the music is eerie) makes you think that she’s in danger. That tension carries on through the rest of the film. For two hours, I couldn’t relax.

Great acting all around.

The Verdict:
It’s an excellent crime procedural, far more engaging and interesting than The French Connection, that’s for sure (and with a better ending). I liked it. However, thrillers aren’t really my cup of tea – or my Chianti and fava beans, if you will. I don’t really enjoy feeling tense for two hours. If someone were to ask me about it at a party, I’d likely say, “Yeah, you should watch it at least once, although you probably already know the whole plot since people quote it endlessly.” (Or maybe that’s just in my circle of twisted friends.)

Anyway, good film, but not one that I'm going to wax poetic about. I give it 4 stars.


Patricia said...

Also the film that had me pledging to never listen and sing along to Tom Petty's "American Girl" in the car at night.

Very well done and creepy. So many things disturbed me, but the simulated vagina ranked very high at the time.

I read the book, which has more with the bug guys.

balyien said...

I read the book but it was so long ago that I don't remember much about it. This was my first time seeing the movie all the way through.

My highest ranked disturbing moment is the, uh, semen scene. So disgusting!

I was so excited to hear "American Girl" in that scene that it didn't even bother me. I think it's the ultimate road trip song.