At the time of writing, the 2016 Oscars are happening this weekend. With the rise in Social Media, we’ve seen nothing but posts about what should or shouldn’t win, this year the Oscars are under a cloud due to the horrific #Oscarssowhite scandal.
We want to gloss over that and think of Best Picture, some great choices and includes big box office far for a change in Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian but what is our favourite ever Best Picture Oscar winner.
A few came to mind 2012’s Argo; 2006’s The Departed; 2004 Million Dollar Baby being our most recent choices. Possibly the biggest box office film to win was James Cameron’s Titanic back in 1997 but we decided to go with the 1991 classic The Silence of the Lambs
Being a big fan of the TV show Miami Vice, created by Michael Mann, I had come across Hannibal the Cannibal previously, in his film adaptation of Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, that film was Manhunter (although it would of course, be remade under the Red Dragon title many years later)
Hannibal would appear again in another Thomas Harris novel, Silence of the Lambs. I saw this film and found it thrilling, it remains one of my favourite films of all time and one of my most memorable experiences of enjoying a film in the cinema.
As mentioned in a previous blog, I also developed a major crush on actress Jodie Foster as FBI trainee Clarice Starling, who would win the best actress Oscar for her incredible performance. Although her best performance for me was in The Accused, I also for the record, think she was robbed for her performance in Nell
Although her best performance for me was in The Accused, I also for the record, think she was robbed for her performance in Nell!
The film would also bring home Best Picture; Best Director for Jonathan Demme; Best adapted screenplay for Ted Tally and despite under 25 minutes screen time, Anthony Hopkins is just incredible as Hannibal. He and Jodie only share 4 scenes on screen and they are the most memorable.
As of 2015, only 1934’s It Happened one night and 1975’s One flew over the cuckoo’s nest and also won all the 5 main awards.
The story is that Clarice is used as a different way of trying to communicate with Hannibal to find serial killer Buffalo Bill’s most recent victim. Clarice being an FBI academy student rises to the challenge but knows it will mean letting Hannibal get into her mind.
The initial scene of Clarice visiting Hannibal, passing other offenders has itself been the subject of so many parodies, most recently being in Zoolander 2 yet is still as shocking and really sets up the film.
Hannibal oozes charm as he agrees to help Clarice, in return for information about her childhood and her time with the lambs on a farm.
This is not a blood and gore horror, but one that will play on your mind. Buffalo Bill is killing victims to make a female suit and some of that imagery will stay with you for a long time after.
This film really is incredible, its cast is brilliant from the 2 Oscar winning leads, yet should include Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford, the FBI agent who assigns Clarice the case; Anthony Heald as Dr. Clinton, Hannibal’s keeper so to speak; Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill right down to the smaller roles such as Charles Napier as Lt Boyle and Frankie Faison as Barney the orderly, a role he would reprise in the remake of Red Dragon (he also played Lt. Fisk in its first attempt, Manhunter)
We know that Lecter is a stone cold evil killer, yet you can not help but be charmed by him, thanks to the brilliant portrayal by Hopkins.
This really is possible the most suspenseful 2 hours I have seen on screen and if you have never seen it, I really can recommend it.
Sadly, like Jaws the inevitable sequels do more to taint it than add to its legacy, Hannibal which follows the story of Clarice on the chase of Hannibal, was weak and for me really missed Jodie who declined to return, Julianne Moore takes over the role, as a Ridley Scott directed film, it is watchable.
Red Dragon followed in 2002 from Brett Ratner, director of Jackie Chan hit Rush Hour, it is likeable, another great performance from Hopkins and Ed Norton but it did nothing that had not been done already in Manhunter. then in 2007 possible the worst of them was the inevitable
Then in 2007 possible the worst of them was the inevitable prequel Hannibal Rising, it was nice to get a bit of back story to the character but was it really needed? We also had a great TV series as well which redeemed the franchise, which was sadly axed far too soon.
We also had a great TV series as well which redeemed the franchise, which was sadly axed far too soon.
Such a prolific screen character, you do have to wonder if this is the last we have ever seen of Hannibal Lecter
What is your favourite Best Picture Oscar Winner? What about your favourite film of this horror genre? We’d love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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