30 for 30: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)





1991 stakes claim to a few movies I absolutely adore – including Raise the Red Lantern, the Coen’s mystifying Barton Fink, Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear, James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Kathryn Bigelow’s terrific Point Break starring master thespian Keanu Reeves as Johnny “I AM AN FBI AGENT!” Utah. Yes, The Silence of the Lambs is a predictable pick and a very popular one at that but I have to disclaim that it was a very close internal debate between Jonathan Demme’s thriller and JFK, Oliver Stone’s sprawling examination of the assassination of President Kennedy. Although I tend to gravitate more towards films with obvious stylistic flourishes (which JFK has plenty of), it’s the deceptively simple storytelling of Silence and its incredibly effecting performances that made it win out in the end. I think this sentiment is what won out among Oscar voters too in 1991 when they awarded their top five awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay). To date, it’s the last film to achieve this incredibly rare accomplishment.

Speaking of the Oscars… People like to rag on them, and they absolutely deserve a lot of the bile spewed at them. Crash anyone? But as film critic Scott Tobias once said in this excellent piece, “The Oscars have a casual relationship with excellence…” Sometimes my favorite film of the year matches up with their favorite. Most of the time, they don’t. In the case of the last three years (1991, 1992, 1993), my favorites perfectly align with that of the Academy. This was also the last time that close to everyone – from critics to audiences to the industry – all agreed that, yes, the Academy got it right.


About 30-for-30

Movies are a huge part of my life – I mean, why else would I be running a blog/site devoted to movies? To commemorate the occasion of my 30th birthday (later this month), I’ll be counting down to the big day by posting a photo of my favorite movie for each year of the last 30 years I’ve survived on this planet. These aren’t my favorite 30 movies EVER but merely the movie I consider my favorite (or the best) of each year. This is my 30 for 30. Click here to see the other 30 for 30 posts.


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