Jonathan Demme’s now-classic adaptation of Thomas Harris’ sleazy, lurid genre novel (that gets even sleazier and lurid in subsequent installments — have you read Hannibal?) is first-class cinema all the way, with Jodie Foster as a naive FBI trainee assigned to track down the elusive serial killer, Buffalo Bill, whose latest kidnap victim is a senator’s daughter — to catch a psycho, she seeks the counsel of another, a clever and charismatic Shakespearean trickster by the name of Hannibal Lecter. Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar for Best Actor for his 16 minutes of screen time, during which he managed to create one of the most iconic figures in movie history — the film won Best Picture and a lot of other Oscars, too, proving that a horror-thriller can earn the acknowledgement of Academy old-timers if it’s, you know, written, directed and acted well. The Silence of the Lambs is a wild ride, and sometimes unbearably intense — the only film that’s so far come close to matching its mighty power is David Fincher‘s Se7en.
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