Liked it 1162484 vote;
directed by Jonathan Demme;
Tomatometer 9,5 of 10;
Release year 1991
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Well, I had only seen this film once, back in high school, and was quite drunk the first time, so I didn’t remember it very well. so, I thought I’d check it out with its new “special edition” release and see what all the hoopla is about. I mean, it was named Best Picture, it has two excellent lead actors (Foster and Hopkins) and it’s gotten nothing but praise and good ratings on the IMDb site, so why not take a look?
Here’s why: it was very poorly shot. The script was a pretty good idea, but very, very predictable and formulaic. Foster’s performance was overstated, and, while the Hopkins role was very well-done, every single other character in the film was VERY poorly played. The dialogue was ridiculous.
Half of the movie was shot without any actual “acting” going on; people were just talking to the camera in close-up, and their editing was supposed to make us feel like these people were actually having an exchange of some kind (does anyone think that Foster and Hopkins were ever on the set together, simultaneously, at any point. br>
The actual villain of the film, Buffalo Bill, is given no background at all except for a few very unrealistic newspaper clippings, from which we are expected to gather something. This is the equivalent of countless crappy Lifetime movies establishing past relationships between people by panning past photographs of people standing together, while piano plays in the background. This guy isn’t frightening, menacing, or even suspenseful in the slightest.
The largest amount of actual entertainment in the film consists of how all the cops act. If the rest of the movie weren’t so poorly made, I’d like to think that the director was making them so comical and silly on purpose; maybe trying to make a point of some kind. But, judging from the rest of the film, Demme probably thought he was portraying these people accurately.
“Silence of the Lambs” isn’t one of the worst movies ever made, but it is certainly much farther from being one of the best. All the little details thrown in, the ones that actually let us see just what the director is actually doing with the film, are stupid (like the cat waiting in the window when the girl gets kidnapped. it growls as the van drives off. ridiculous. What little action there is in the film is purely by-the-book, industry-standard, average garbage (save for the scene where Hopkins grabs the guard and sucks his face- that was far below average.
If you’ve never seen this movie, but you’ve seen some other detective/killer/suspense film sometime in the past 20 years, don’t bother. It’s certainly not up to the level it’s touted at. If you saw the movie once, while in junior high or high school, and you think maybe your film tastes have matured since then, watch it again. I think you’ll see what I mean.
I just can’t imagine what the people (those that consider themselves to be knowledgeable film critics) were thinking in 1991. Best Picture. Doesn’t speak well for the other movies released that year. I wonder.
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