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Lead or Supporting #2 Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs”

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  • Sab227
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    #181344

    In the previous poll the majority thought Scarlett Johansson was Supporting in Her, now Im curious what you guys think about Hopkins, especially considering he had 16 mins of screen time.

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    nkb325
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    #181346

    I can’t really explain it, but it really did feel like he was lead. Like his scenes with Clarice, it didn’t really feel like he was entering her story, it almost felt like their two stories were converging. Almost like there was a whole other movie about him that we were only seeing parts of. And I remember watching it, already knowing that he only had like 16 minutes of screentime, and I was an hour in an he was still there, and I thought to myself “wait a second, he’s still appearing on screen that means he’s had less than 15 minutes already!” Like if you asked anyone to guess how much screentime he had immediately after watching the movie, I feel like they’d guess much more than 16. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but I just FELT like he was a lead character when I watched it, that it was both of their stories. 

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    Cinebear
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    #181347

    I think Hannibal was a supporting character in the story.  He was indeed the key to Clarice solving the case, and a very good performance it was; however, he was less a fleshed-out character than a device used to try to compromise the strength and humanity of the film’s only lead character.  Am I biased because I think both Beatty and Nolte deserved Oscars for career-best performances that same year – absolutely!  

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    Baby Clyde
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    #181348

    100% Supporting.

    I understand the argument for Lead but that’s impossible when you only have 16 minutes screen time in a 118 minute film.

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    Sab227
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    #181349

    I can’t really explain it, but it really did feel like he was lead. Like his scenes with Clarice, it didn’t really feel like he was entering her story, it almost felt like their two stories were converging. Almost like there was a whole other movie about him that we were only seeing parts of. And I remember watching it, already knowing that he only had like 16 minutes of screentime, and I was an hour in an he was still there, and I thought to myself “wait a second, he’s still appearing on screen that means he’s had less than 15 minutes already!” Like if you asked anyone to guess how much screentime he had immediately after watching the movie, I feel like they’d guess much more than 16. I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but I just FELT like he was a lead character when I watched it, that it was both of their stories. 

    This is how I feel about him, he is lead to me. 

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    Actriz
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    #181350

    Lead to me. But I understand both arguments.

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    Eddy Q
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    #181351

    nkb325 took the words right out of my head. He’s lead for me, and Buffalo Bill is the supporting villain. Though I have a feeling Hopkins would be campaigned supporting if the film came out today.

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    M: The Original
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    #181352

    His performance transcended screen time categorization.

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    RobertPius
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    #181353

     I can remember following this years ago. (pre-internet!- you really young people don’t now how hard it was!) I would go to my local small town library during Christmas vacation and read the For Your Consideration ads in Variety. 

    As I remember it Hopkins was considered a shoo in for Supporting all year and then won the NBR as supporting actor.  (that was the first pre-Oscar award back then.) Then they switched and suddenly started advertising him for the lead award and pushing Scott Glenn and Ted Levine for supporting. Later on Hopkins said it was his idea to go for the lead. 

    I remember thinking it was a big mistake at the time. It was a lock for a supporting win and Best Actor was a risk. Even though now it seems inevitable that he would win he was a big surprise victory when it actually happened. Nick Nolte was the heavy favorite.  

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    Kyle Bailey
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    #181354

    Yeah I think he was a lead. He was a commanding presence without the whole movie and he made his performance feel like it was way longer than it was. And if he did go Supporting, I do think Nick Nolte would have won for The Prince of Tides 

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    Gabriel
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    #181355

    100% supporting; no ifs no buts.

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    Anthony
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    #181356

    My feelings on this have been summed up perfectly by pretty much everyone.

    When I first watched the film, it never crossed my mind for a second that he WASN’T a lead….maybe not THE lead but a leading character. Then, I read an article mentioning how he was only onscreen for 16 minutes and I was shocked….and that was a huge testament to his performance because it was so intense and his presence was felt constantly.

    That leaves the whole thing at a very unique standpoint. Normally we all complain when lead performances get bumped to Supporting….but normally it is extremely rare for Supporting to get bumped to Lead (though it can lead to wins…two examples that come to mind are David Niven for Seperate Tables and to a lesser extent Reese Witherspoon in Walk The Line, which I think that one is very borderline).  

    Had Hopkins been in Supporting, he obviously still would have my vote but his work was just too good to pass up even going against people who were in their movies for MUCH longer. It is like the opposite end of the spectrum in a case like Timothy Hutton, where he won in Supporting but the movie revolved completely around him and primarily focused on him…and yet his work was just too good to pass up in Supporting. Hopkins is Supporting but just too good to pass up in Lead. 

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    babypook
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    #181357

    If we can imagine Silence without Hopkins, there is enough there to make the film, but a hugely diminished one. And since the protagonist is a woman and a great actor, placing him in Lead is acceptable being the main man opposite her. The gender dance and placement.

    I’ve seen others play Hannibal Lecter, and they’ve all been very good. But Hopkins has made this character iconic with his superb rendering and he would have won in either category, and either way it would not have been as egregious as many other nebulous or obvious placements. So I voted Lead, just well, because.

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    Troy
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    #181358

    I actually think he is the Lead, despite the limited screentime.   The fact that is character is crucial to driving the plot and, as mentioned above, his presence is felt throughout the film, definitely makes an argument for him being a Lead.  

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    babypook
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    #181359

    If Sir Anthony had been in Supporting, only two films would have the top five Oscars; It Happened One Night, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

    Silence is a terrific thriller and worthy of being the third film to win all five.

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