*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Extremely well-made documentary about the making of 1991's THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, which started out as highly controversial with many major stars refusing parts but it ended up winning the top five Oscars that year. Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, Scott Glenn, Brooke Smith, Diane Baker and Anthony Heald are just a few of the faces who are interviewed about the project with all of them openly discussing the production. The documentary starts off explaining how Gene Hackman had originally bought the rights to the novel and planned to star and direct. He eventually backed out and when Demme signed on he had to battle the studio because he didn't want Foster. Foster talks about originally trying to buy the rights and how stars like Michelle Pfeifer and Meg Ryan were offered the part first. Hopkins' career was on the downside and he talks about thinking his time in Hollywood was over. The entire cast are open about their feelings going into the project and many of them talk about issues that had about the film. It seems most people were nervous about Demme directing but hearing how everything would eventually come together so well was quite fascinating. If you're a fan of the film then you're going to get plenty of great stories about the production and post-production. The stars are very upfront and honest with their opinions, which is a major plus as is the fact that all the main players are here. I really enjoyed hearing from Demme on how his opinions of Foster changed throughout the making. Die-hard fans are probably going to already know all this stuff but the film does a very good job at gathering up all the information so those who are unfamiliar with it should have an entertaining time.