• Golden Globe Awards

1992: “The Silence of the Lambs” Scares Up Five Nominations

The Silence of the Lambs was a groundbreaking film in many ways. Initially released (ironically) on Valentine’s Day in 1991, the film defied both commercial and critical expectations during the month widely considered, at the time, Hollywood’s “dumping ground.” It gathered steam throughout the year to eventually not only land five Golden Globe nominations but also become the fifth-highest-grossing movie of the year.
Based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, the thriller stars Anthony Hopkins as cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter (who described eating one of his victims with “fava beans and a nice chianti”). A cat-and-mouse battle begins when FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) visits him in prison, asking for help in tracking down a copycat serial killer before he claims his next victim.
The film received a quintet of nominations at the 49th Golden Globes, held on January 18 at the Beverly Hilton: Best Drama, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), and Best Screenplay (Ted Tally). Jodie Foster won the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Drama.
Foster had lobbied hard for the role after hearing Demme wanted Michelle Pfeiffer or Meg Ryan to play Clarice. She flew herself to New York to meet Demme and convince him she could be his “backup” choice. After the other actresses turned down the role, Foster was in.

It was only three years after Foster won her first Golden Globe for The Accused, and presenters Kathy Bates and Jeremy Irons announced her tough competition in 1992: Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, both for Thelma & LouiseAnnette Bening in BugsyLaura Dern in Rambling Rose.
Backstage later that night with her award, Foster humbly told the press, “As much as I enjoy all of this and I’m grinning ear to ear, it still feels like a roulette wheel. So I laugh a lot when it happens, and I don’t worry about it too much when it doesn’t.”

Hopkins clocked in with under 25 minutes of screen time and had only four scenes with Foster, separated mainly by prison bars.
“But I do feel like we shared this extraordinary moment where we were both at our best and sometimes, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I hope that’s not the last time that I will be at my best,’” Foster later recalled at a 2021 Hollywood Foreign Press Association press conference, talking about the 30th anniversary of the classic film. “It’s a tough one to top, so I’m always happy to see Tony over the years because it brings up this feeling of us having done something really important together.”
The film wouldn’t be their last moment of linked Hollywood celebration, however. In 2006, Hopkins would receive the Cecil B. deMille Award, and in 2013, Foster would join him, receiving the same honor.