“BIG 5” Academy Awards Movie Reviews


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The Silence Of The Lambs

“The Silence of The Lambs” is a psycho thriller about the growing relationship between an upcoming detective and a cannibalistic prisoner. Clarice Starling is asked to communicate with high security inmate Hannibal Lector to find out information on an ongoing case of a sadistic murderer. As information develops in the case the two part ways into their own intricate story.

The intricacy of this plot leaves an effect of awe as it starts with the two characters working together and twists into two plots which include their own gruesome deaths. This of course may have been made possible by the fact that The Silence of The Lambs had previously been a book. Because the sophisticated plot had already been written in its complexity the movie was enabled the chance to have layers of plot and character depth. Since Jodie Foster portrays Clarice with honesty, she can show Clarice as the flawed character that she is. Foster’s performance shows the audience Clarice’s strong will, her ability to pursue a case that has a personal effect on her. Anthony Hopkins brings life to Hannibal Lecter, forcing his way into the head of anyone with whom he speaks and bringing chills to the audience with his menacing sounds and animosity. Anthony’s portrayal of Lecter makes this movie great, his ability to be stoically twisted, controlling every situation as if it was already planned out.

As director of this thriller, Jonathan Demme did well at carrying out each layer of the film. Notably, during the first scene that Clarice and Hannibal interact each of Hannibal’s lines were shown with a close up on his face. This shows his dominance over the situation, creating the effect of his words overstepping the line of personal with Clarice.

I give this movie two and a half out of five stars because of the well carried out intricate plot and the acting. The plot is everything that one would look for in an episode of Criminal Minds today, fied with high intensity scenes and a plot to cause paranoia even days after watching. The honest portrayals by the actors also adds to this by creating a level of truth and authenticity to the plot.


It Happened One Night

“It Happened One Night” is a romantic comedy unprecedented by any other “big 5” film. Ellie Andrews, portrayed by Claudette Colbert, is the pretentious daughter of a wealthy man who resents her unwarranted marriage to King Wesley. Angered by her father’s attempt to have her marriage annulled, Ellie makes her escape and is on her way back to New York to save her marriage when she meets journalist Peter Warne. With Peter’s discovery of Ellie’s socialite identity the two strike a deal in order to get what they both want; Peter gets to write a feature story on Ellie, and Ellie will make it to New York.

The chemistry between Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable creates a rapport of quick-witted banter. As Ellie Andrews, Claudette Colbert brings an unwavering sense of independence, choosing love over wealth. Starting as a pompous snob Ellie develops into a compassionate, more humbled character through her discussion and interaction with Peter. Clark Gable’s humorous attitude as Peter Warne adds a flare of liveliness to the film. Although Peter did not begin shallow, such as Ellie, Peter’s biggest character flaw is his arrogance and judgemental attitude. The adventure taken by the two flawed characters allows growth into better people, as they enjoy their time together they fall in love, it is this love that induces the want to better themselves.

The script was well written, as it developed a great rapport between the Ellie Andrews and Peter Warne that was humorous for the audience to enjoy. The character development was made clear and allowed the film to have a happy ending. The plot did not include any incredulous twists, though it did induce annoyance with a disastrous misunderstanding. This misunderstanding did not destroy the excitement of possibilities, only prolonged the happy ending and creating a temporarily stressful tone.

I give this movie four out of five stars for its creative plot, endearing sense of humor, and good chemistry. In the time of the film release Ellie’s independence in wishing to choose her suitor against her father’s wishes was against what was thought of as acceptable. This introduced a set of mind for independence in a light hearted way. The quick wit between Ellie and Peter was genuinely enjoyable and timeless. The dynamic was comfortable, not awkward, and allowed the audience to truly believe the developing relationship.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is a dark comedy about a light hearted man named R.P McMurphy who commits to a mental institution as an alternative to jail time. His lively entrance stimulates a wave of energy to the inmates and brings a new approach to life in the institution. Starting off as a high spirited adventure this film continues to take twisted turns that increase the dark part of dark comedy.

The choice of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” as best picture may have been made obvious by Jack Nicholson’s outstanding acting. His growth throughout the film resonates with the audience and has a lasting effect. Milos Forman, the director, did a great job at showing the change in tone throughout the movie. Noticeably, the change in tone was displayed with an increase of bad moments. The finality of a dark foreshadow and the drama caused by silly fights. This change in tone is remarkable and impossible to miss.

Jack Nicholson is the best part of this movie. He portrays R. P. McMurphy, a devious prisoner, with such vivacity so as to develop a bond with the audience that leads to a heart wrenching ending. Jack Nicholson has the perfect facial features to display and over exaggerate each emotion, good or bad. His happiness radiates and spreads to every surrounding character, and the same goes with his despair. The relationships he forms with the other inmates demonstrates the character development of McMurphy, showing his ability to care for people other than himself.

Louise Fletcher, who portrays Nurse Ratched, is unexpectedly evil. In the beginning of the film there seems to be hope for a chance of kindness in the Nurse, hope that with the new arrival of McMurphy she will change along with the rest of the institution. This hope, of course, was depleted as the movie continued and her despicable nature just grew worse and worse. Although well portrayed it is not understandable why this part was not considered supporting actress. Nurse Ratched does not develop as the movie is carried out, instead remaining an uptight control freak.

The plot of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is fascinating and empathetic. Because the characters live in such close quarters they grow closer and engage the audience in a charming way. The depth in the relationships is shown by the sacrifices they make for each other and the advancements in their interactions. The Chief and McMurphy develop a mutual relationship that develops each of their characters into a stronger version of themselves. And the relationship development between Billy and McMurphy is one of McMurphy sponsoring growth in Billy. Billy learns from McMurphy to live with more confidence while McMurphy learns to be compassionate. McMurphy is taught lessons by each inmate with whom he interacts and develops into a newly reformed man, at least for a little.

I gave this movie four stars for Jack Nicholson’s acting, the well carried out change in tone, and the emotion the plot incited. Jack Nicholson’s role in this movie is arguably the best acting role he has ever played. His moments of liveliness exemplified in his stealing away the inmates onto a fishing trip compares to his moments of absolute defeat shown in his last moment with Billy as a man who changes drastically in character. The screenplay’s horrifying change in tone resonates with the audience so that they are left utterly defeated by the bittersweet ending. Based on a book by Ken Kesey, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” sure does leave a lasting mark on the audience, reminding them not to settle and to fight for the best.