Had I been alive back in 1991, I would have thought that Jonathan Demme’s The Silence Of The Lambs didn’t have a chance in hell of getting nominated for Best Picture, much less winning. For one, the film is a psychological thriller/horror film, which the Academy has never been particularly fond of. For another, the film premiered back in January. That’s a tactic that no film today looking to be an Awards Contender would even dream of trying.
And yet, this strategy worked, as the film won 5 Academy Awards, and becoming one of the most iconic, and truly one of the best, of the Best Picture winners. Director Jonathan Demme knows exactly the way to draw you into the action. And the film may owe a lot of it’s success to the editing. Without a ton of gore, the film manages to be truly scary and sustain a well-crafted out use of suspense that would rival Hitchcock.
Acting-wise, Anthony Hopkins and Ted Levine are equally scary, though for different reasons. And I find it very odd that Hopkins won lead for what is clearly a supporting role, the performance is very good, and worthy of its iconic status. Jodie Foster also does an admirable job as the film’s true lead. Both performances were fully deserving of their Oscars.
People often ask me what genres I like, and I find that to be a pretty dumb question. I like good movies, regardless of their genre. And I am not one to typically fall for horror films and psychological thrillers, but The Silence Of The Lambs has proven to be a magnificent film. And the fact that it won Best Picture goes to show you that even the Academy can be persuaded to step out of their comfort zone, given the circumstances.