The Silence of the Lambs is based on Thomas Harris’s novel, Silence of the Lambs is a terrifying film by Jonathan Demme really only contains a couple of genuinely shocking moments (one involving an autopsy, the other a prison break). The rest of the film is a splatter-free visual and psychological descent into the hell of madness, redeemed astonishingly by an unlikely connection between a monster and a haunted young woman. Anthony Hopkins is extraordinary as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, virtually entombed in a subterranean prison for the criminally insane. At the behest of the FBI, agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) approaches Lecter, requesting his insights into the identity and methods of a serial killer named Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). In exchange, Lecter demands the right to penetrate Starling’s most painful memories, creating a bizarre but palpable intimacy that liberates them both under separate but equally horrific circumstances. Demme, a filmmaker with a uniquely populist vision (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild), also spent his early years making pulp for Roger Corman (Caged Heat), and he hasn’t forgotten the significance of tone, atmosphere, and the unsettling nature of a crudely effective close-up. Much of the film, in fact, consists of actors staring straight into the camera (usually from Clarice’s point of view), making every bridge between one set of eyes to another seem terribly dangerous. —Tom Keogh
About The Silence of the Lambs (2001)
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Scott Glenn, Roger Corman, Jodie Foster, Howard Shore, Diane Baker, Ed Gein, Brooke Smith, Kristi Zea, Tom Fleischman, Carl Fullerton, Tim Galvin, Skip Lievsay, Neal Martz, Craig McKay, Mike Medavoy, Raymond A. Mendez, Christopher Newman, Karen O'Hara, Vicky Ortega, Ted Tally, Colleen Atwood, Amy Taubin, Kenneth Turek, Ronald M. Bozman, Kenneth Utt, Jonathan Demme
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
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