Nominations: Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), Best Director (Jonathan Demme),
Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound
Wins/Snubs: It won the big ones, Actor, Actress, Director, Picture, and screenplay. Terminator 2: Judgement Day took Sound, and JFK took editing (something I don't necessarily call foul on.)
This was actually the first time I saw this. I've made no secret that the trailer scared the crap out of my 12-year-old self, so I had no desire to find this. But once upon a time (perhaps when he was a guest on Reel Insight), the Mad Hatter suggested I watch the AMC version (which presumably is a bit edited down to reduce its R rating a bit for television, "and to run in the time allotted"), which is what I did. So, if I missed something important, now that I've survived it once, I might watch the full version someday.
In my opinion, the stars of the film were Jodie Foster's constantly scared expression and the "scare-the-shit-out-of-you" sound. So the fact that Terminator 2: Judgement Day took the Oscar for sound is crap. If they considered all that sound actually a score, then the fact that it wasn't nominated for best Score is crap. If you put that music/sound over WALL*E you'd have a thriller. Otherwise, I'm happy to agree that this is one of the best movies of all time. Did it scare the crap out of me? YES! Would is scare the average person, probably not, but is it a great thriller with an unconventional story, definitely. I don't think there has even been another serial killer movie that got close to creating the tension of Silence of the Lambs. It turns out, Hannibal Lecter is not the scary part of the movie. His terror comes from his restraint so that when he lets loose, you jump in your seat, but you're not scared in the same way you are in both the discussion of and scenes with Buffalo Bill.
|Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill and Leland Stottlemeyer|
One thing, when you see an actor in a particular role, it's hard to see them in other roles that flip your idea of them on its head. Sometimes it works great (I loved seeing Jim Carrey attempt serious roles because you're never sure he can avoid his zaniness), and other times it fails (lots of examples). I already knew Ted Levine from his wonderful role as Captain Leland Stollemeyer on the TV show "MONK". So when I saw his name show up in the opening credits, I was happy to see him. And then to have him turn out to be the bad guy made him a little less scary. His voice is distinctive enough (a la Sean Connery) that it's hard to separate how you know his voice from the current character he's trying to play. I had that problem the first time I watched a Connery James Bond movie, right around the year I saw The Hunt for Red October so I kept thinking, why is this old man's voice coming out of this young hot spy. I think this actually helped me enjoy Silence of the Lambs because he wasn't quite as terrifying for me. However, he was pretty unknown when the movie came out, so I bet other people had the flip experience when they saw him on "MONK".
Anyway, this is a freakin' awesome movie that if you're a scaredy-cat like me, should only be watched on AMC in the morning, preferably not in an empty house. 5 of 5 stars/lambs