Tag Archives: Anthony Hopkins

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

15 Sep

Far from your typical detective story, Director Jonathan Demme‘s 1991 masterpiece helped to refine the genre. Based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, Demme’s adaptation successfully takes us on a thrilling but dark journey into a territory so rarely explored in cinema: the bleak recesses of the human mind.

Part Freudian mystery, part crime thriller, Silence of the Lambs first introduces us to our protagonist, Clarice Starling, an aspiring FBI agent currently finishing training. Played by Jodie Foster in her most iconic role to date, Clarice is fearless, smart and tactile as she tries to put together the clues and help catch a mysterious serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. In order to do so, however, she must enter and dismantle the mind of the brilliant but ruthless Dr. Hannibal Lecter (in another iconic performance from Anthony Hopkins) who is being held in a high-security prison for multiple murders.

“Do you know why they call him ‘Buffalo Bill'”? He asks Clarice, during their first encounter together. “It started as a bad joke,” she replies. “It’s because he always skins his humps”.

The personal exchanges between Clarice and Hannibal are the film’s heartbeat and give us tremendous insight into the multiple layers of their characters, including Hannibal’s immense knowledge of psychology and his ability to manipulate others. This is contrasted with Clarice’s desire to rid herself of her own demons, and take on the daunting responsibility of being a new female FBI agent.

Both Hopkins and Foster received Oscars for their work, and rightfully so. Universally acclaimed as one of the best films from the 90’s, Silence of the Lambs also took home awards for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Besides its influence on everything from The Dark Knight to the hit HBO series True Detective, the film helped highlight our culture’s fascination with serial killers, and the complex and horrifying psychology that accompanies them. Silence of the Lambs is, in my opinion, a great film because of its bold ability to introspectively examine the inner emotions, thoughts, and motivations that lay buried deep in the heart of human beings – despite what horrors might eventually be unearthed there.

 

Clarice Starling

Clarice Starling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 10/10

Similar to: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), Se7en (1995), True Detective (2014) 

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Top 10 Anticipated films of 2014

5 Jan

Well hats off to a new year. In the midst of all this awards season talk (you can catch my top 15 list of 2013 here) I’d like to present the films I’m most looking forward to seeing this next year. If available, I’ve provided the trailers and release dates. Make sure to let me know what films you are looking forward to seeing and if there are any I missed.

10 – Knight of Cups

This one is still a bit of a mystery as director Terrence Malick hasn’t officially said anything about Knight of Cups (or much else about his other projects). What we do know is that is stars Christian Bale, Imogen Poots, Joel Kinnaman, Cate Blanchet, Natalie Portman, Jason Clarke, Wes Bentley, and Antonio Banderas (wow!!). If the cast isn’t enough to get you excited, rumor is that Malick has a few additional films planned (though these are most likely to be pushed back to 2015 and beyond).  No release date yet.

9 – Foxcatcher

Director Bennett Miller made waves a while back with his Oscar-winning film Capote and 2011’s Moneyball. Next year he returns with a film based on Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz. Originally intended for 2013 (there was even a trailer released last fall), the film was pushed back due to editing issues and concern the awards season would be too crowded. Channing Tatum and Steve Carell (supposedly playing against type) star alongside Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, and Tara Subkoff.  Foxcatcher is rumored to be released in the spring, but could be pushed back to fall.

8 – Boyhood

This mysterious project from Richard Linklater supposedly has been in production for the last 12 years, chronicling the life of Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette’s son. As a huge fan of his Before trilogy, I can’t wait to see what frequent collaborators Linklater and Hawke have in store. No release date yet.

7- Transcendence

Wally Pfister, who is mostly known for his cinematography work with Christopher Nolan, makes his directorial debut next year with a mind-bending sci-fi about artificial intelligence. This looks like it has all the right ingredients to be the next Minority Report, and I’m excited to see Johnny Depp actually using his talent. Depp stars alongside Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall. In theaters April 14.

6 – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Boasting an amazing all-star lineup of Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Jude Law, Edwards Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, and Harvey Keitel (!!!), the film from Wes Anderson promises mystery, laughs, drama, superb music and Helvetica font. In theaters March 7.

5 – Enemy

After filming the Oscar-nominated Incendies, and last years incredible Prisoners, Denis Villeneuve is making a name for himself and this year he agian reunited with Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy. The thriller is supposedly about a man who goes after his look-alike after seeing him in a movie. I’m intrigued. In theaters March 14.

4 – Gone Girl

One of my favorite directors, David Fincher, gives us a film about a man whose wife mysteriously disappears while on honeymoon, starring Ben Affleck. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, Gone Girl could become this year’s Girl With The Dragon Tatoo. In theaters October 8.

3 – Noah

Yes, you are familiar with the biblical story, but director Darren Aronofsky is sure to put a new spin on the tale. Staring Russel Crowe, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, and supposedly boasting some of the best digital effects ever to be done by Industrial Light and Magic, Noah arrives March 28.

2 – Interstellar

Christopher Nolan is back in action with a story about wormholes, space travel, and corn shortages. Yup. Staring Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Topher Grace, and Ellen Burstyn, the film is out November 7.

1 – Inherent Vice

My most anticipated film of 2014 brings back Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson into a thriller/comedy/crime story about a detective investigating the disappearance of an ex-lover.  Jena Malone, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, and Maya Rudolph star. No release date yet.

Quick 2012 year-end update

16 Dec

year-end lists are on their way.

In the meanwhile here’s an update on what I have seen as of late:

Holy Motors – With scenes ranging from the bizarre to the disgusting, to the near-perverse, this is definitely an art-house project worth taking a close look at. I was completely spellbound. 8/10

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Hitchcock – Though the story drifts around a bit, the details and look of the film just feels so authentic. Hopkins is so similar in his mannerisms it’s spooky.  8/10

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Lincoln – Great performances all around – especially from Daniel Day-Lewis. It has a good script, but it didn’t move me as emotionally as a film from Spielberg should.  6/10

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The Hobbit – Relies too much on the success of the previous LOTR films, and drags on way too long for its own good. Also it felt a bit too-kid friendly from what I was expecting making it sort of like The Phantom Menace of Middle Earth.  6/10

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Life of Pi –   You can only rely on CGI so much to tell a story, and although I could watch this entire movie on mute and be captivated by it’s beauty, the story-within-a-story concept falls apart and just gets embarrassing near the ending.   6/10

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