That’s how you do a thriller, baby!
It’s still incredibly surprising that the Academy would actually give the five most important Oscars to a movie like this but The Silence of the Lambs deservedly holds the place as one of the best movies ever made. It wins it strength from the fact that it is not a cheap shocker that tries to make the audience jump up in their seats as many times as possible but instead slowly builds up a large amount of tension by the interaction of the characters and the use of cinematography, sound and score.
The Silence of the Lambs is also a movie that I would rank much higher than the book it is based on – the backstory of Clarice or the final scenes of her in the cellar, the whole chemistry between Clarice and Lecter work much better on the screen.
Overall, The Silence of the Lambs is so outstanding because it found the perfect way to balance its own themes and aspects – how many thrillers would put a character like Clarice in the middle of the action? The movie talks about obsession, about violence, about guilt, about the past, the present and the future through its characters while the overall story is done with so much subtle danger and horror that it turns into a movie that will shock and haunt but also provoke and interest you at the same time. As a result, The Silence of the Lambs never really depends on any effects – it’s a movie that you can watch over and over again without ever becoming bored since all the quality comes from timeless aspects like the acting, the writing, the directing.
An unusual choice by the Academy – but luckily, also one of the best.