I love the Academy Awards and last year I realized how few of the “Best Picture” winners I’d actually seen. So I made it a goal to see all 83 winners and blog my thoughts about them along the way.

Why did it win? Should another movie have won instead? Has it become a beloved classic or do many of you not even recognize the title? I invite you, my friends and guests, to comment along with me. Do you agree/disagree? I should be fair and place a SPOLIER ALERT on this blog since I’ll be writing about various parts of the movie. So read at your own risk…

I have often told people that I have movie amnesia… I can see a movie and forget all about it years later. So for that reason, I am re-watching the 27 I’ve seen before. That said, if no one visits or reads my blog and I basically perform the online equivalent of talking to a brick wall, that’s fine; if for nothing else, it’ll be my own reminder. Enjoy!

And the Oscar goes to…

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Silence of the Lambs, 1991

Rated R

Roger Ebert calls this film a “horror masterpiece” and it was one of only two on my list of eighty-three movies that I REALLY didn’t want to see. I demanded that my husband watch it with me this last weekend during the day (and while the kids were napping , of course). It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I hate scary movies and I hate gore even more. Perhaps I expected worse because I see the kind of movies that are coming out nowadays that aim for shock-value and in-your-face gruesomeness. Overall, I thought it was a captivating movie. I didn’t think it was as suspenseful as reviews make it out to be, but that could be due to its time of release as well. I think “The Sixth Sense” and “The Others” were just as suspenseful. (I will note that when Clarice walks through Buffalo Bill’s house at the end, I was pretty freaked.)

In case you don’t know, this movie is based on yet another best-selling book, and is about a cannibalistic killer (Anthony Hopkins) and his relationship with FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) as he begins to bargain with her for the clues she needs to catch a psychopathic serial killer on the loose.  Hopkins won Best Actor for his chilling portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter even though his character is actually on screen for only 16 total minutes!! His creepy stares and disturbing monologues set the tone for the whole movie though.

I can understandably see how this movie raised concerns and created outrages over sexism (both female and transgendered). I think it is pretty common now though that movies push boundaries, or overstep them completely, with regard to sensitive and controversial subjects.

I think this movie has a great title and a pretty cool movie poster. Although, I will admit that I didn’t notice until I looked closely at the poster that there’s an outline of a skull on the moth (nicknamed “Death’s Head Moth”). If that outline was actually shown in the movie when the insect specialist was dissecting it, I totally missed it. Other things I missed were the anagrams that Clarice figured out from Dr. Lecter- clues for people’s names. (Louis Friend into iron sulfide, which means fool’s gold… c’mon!)
I will pat myself on the back though for calling the switcheroo when Hannibal escaped. (Don’t rain on my parade if you did too though… I rarely can call those things, so I’m proud of myself). I also couldn’t help but notice how Jodie and Anthony didn’t really act together. They really were just taking turns talking straight into the camera (which did make for a more eerie effect).

“The Silence of the Lambs” was up against “Bugsy”, “JFK”, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”, and the “Prince of Tides”. I’ve only seen the last two on that list. This is one of three films in Oscar history that won the top five awards: picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay. The other two films I’ve blogged about already: “It Happened One Night” in 1934 and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975. Its win was memorable for a few reasons. It was the first time that a film from the horror genre won Best Picture. Also, because it was released in January (almost a year before the awards ceremony!), it was already on videotape by the time it won. Nowadays, that’s nothing since movies are released on blu-ray while they’re practically still in the theaters.


This isn’t the type of movie that one has a favorite scene, but I did think the one pictured below was uniquely filmed. This was during the game of quid pro quo that Dr. Lecter started with Clarice. She asked him questions about Buffalo Bill (the serial killer) and he asked questions about her childhood. I found it interesting that when he answered her questions, he looked straight into her eyes. But after he asked her a question, he turned his head away while listening to her answer. Hmmm...


Don’t offer to help out a stranger if you’re alone in a dark area. That’s just common sense ladies.

Do not let fear get the best of you. Whether you’re scared of spiders, the dark, or the unknown, it’s not healthy to dwell on fear. Give it up to God and try to find peace.


  1. Hello AMY...

    Ok I loved this one but it's been awhile. You should watch the sequels now:)

  2. I've watched this one once.....on TV......with the remote in my hand. So, I'm impressed that you got through it.I keep saying I should watch it again, but haven't gotten the guts to do it.