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Analysis Of The Acting Of Jodie Foster In "The Silence Of The Lambs"

987 words - 4 pages

In this post-modern era of mass-produced high-definition cinema and portable video that can be downloaded into a portable device via a global, omnipresent network, acting as a commodity has seemingly become a dime a dozen. Yet still, every year, a handful of movies are released that prove to the film community once more, the true value of good acting. One of these recently released movie classics is The Silence Of The Lambs, directed by Jonathon Demme. Although rife with poignant performances by its many accomplished actors, one of the most profound would be that of Jodie Foster who plays the role of FBI academy trainee, Clarice Starling. What makes her performance so memorable is quite multi-layered to say the least. Her skill as an actress can be seen from analyzing the surface level of how her interpretation fit the character overall, to how she generally conveyed emotion during dramatic scenes, to how she did so, specifically, down to the most minute of actions.In The Silence Of The Lambs, Clarice Starling is a FBI academy trainee who longs to advance and get ahead in her career while being surrounded by older men who are constantly underestimating her ability. Jodie Foster reflects these traits through her strong-willed and slightly spunky, yet determined attitude she exhibits throughout the movie. For example, before she examines Dr. Hannibal Lecter for the first time, she speaks with Dr. Chilton who (not so) subtly flirts with her. Being the driven, career-oriented woman her character epitomizes, Ms. Foster quickly breaks Chilton’s glance to look at her feet and dart her eyes about in stifled disgust. However, when she later wishes to speak with Lecter alone, she uses this to her advantage by telling Chilton that she would have missed the pleasure of his company if she had asked him in his office, this diffuses his flustered frustration and she is allowed to interview Lecter unattended. Afterwards, while she is walking down the hall of criminals to Lecter’s cell, it is easy to see how Foster’s character is trying to overcome her naïve, lingering fear of the ghastly prisoners while trying to exhibit an experienced, professional demeanor and keep her bearings. This attention to detail and regard to the character’s past “normal life” causes Ms. Foster’s character to be highly believable.Ms. Foster’s expression of emotions during crucial scenes in the movie was also superb in a variety of ways. One of the most notable of which is the realism of her visible emotions. For instance, in reality, when one feels a very strong emotion, most tend to at least attempt to hold it back so that it does not cause an exaggerated, flippant reaction. However, in the realm of acting, this “beneath-the-surface” effect of emotions can be extremely difficult to replicate. Nevertheless, Ms. Foster manages to do so exquisitely as Clarice Starling. One of the best examples of this technique can be seen in her...

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