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An Appreciation of Julianne Moore, Ridley Scott, Ray Liotta, Anthony Hopkins, and their movie Hannibal (2001).

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The first movie I remember seeing Julianne Moore in she played the character Marlene Craven in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1984), and when I raved about her beauty to my sister, she informed me that Ms. Moore had been a face model for a lot longer than she'd been a Hollywood actress.

Theatrical Release Poster, by by Wiki {under the film's title}

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And the movie by director Ridley Scott that I remember best before Hannibal was Blade Runner (1982), probably the last, great Sci-Fi movie before cartoons took over. Certainly you remember that one, starring Harrison Ford as the ex-cop hunter of the supposedly-permanently-off-Earth, human-appearing killer-robots who have returned to Los Angeles intending to extend their life-spans by fair means or foul?   Based on a story by Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner also starred a young Sean Young, a young Daryl Hannah, and the inimitable Rutger Hauer, the head returned-killer robot who cries and mutters as he dies on a rooftop in the rain, near the end, that his exploits in wars on distant planets are lost, "like tears in rain."   (The line was reportedly extemporaneous.)

Theatrical Release Poster, by by Wiki {under the film's title}

Ray Liotta, bless his burnished soul, probably had his career revived by the movie Hannibal, because you can hardly watch a recent police or criminal procedural on TV without seeing his evil face and, speaking for myself, wondering: what the heck is this durn guy's name?

Ray Liotta, by Wiki {under Ray Liotta}

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Anthony Hopkins, well what can I say? He's the star of Hannibal. I keep my DVD's with one shelf devoted to "multiples" -- containing two or more DVDs by an actor or actress (as we used to call them), or director - and Anthony Hopkins is on it. Moreover, I reviewed at OEN Hopkins' recent The City of Your Final Destination, in which his acting an unabashedly-out homosexual impressed me even more than his role in Hannibal as an unabashedly-out cannibalistic, serial killer. He is simply an acting genius.

Promotional Title, by by Wiki {under the film's title}

And finally, the movie itself: Hannibal is the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, with Julianne Moore replacing Jody Foster as Clarice Starling, an FBI serial killer expert become general purpose agent, with Anthony Hopkins reprising his Silence role as the cannibalistic serial killer, ipso Clarice Starling's object of professional interest, following his taking up residence in a much more refined (and to his taste, if you will) location in Rome.

Julianne Moore (2009), by Wiki {at Julianne Moore}

Theatrical Release Poster, by Wiki {at The Silence of the Lambs}

Theatrical Release Poster, by Wiki {under Hannibal the Movie}

I prefer Ms. Moore in the sequel to Ms. Foster in Silence of the Lambs, and not only because the former's beauty appeals to me more; in fact I loved Jodie Foster in the earliest DVD I have of hers -- Candleshoe -- and liked her very much in the Civil War story - Sommersby - not to mention Taxi Driver. No, there's something in the movie Hannibal that would have required Jody Foster to reach a place where she simply doesn't belong, but the more beautiful, and yes, I believe more talented, Julianne Moore lives there, effortlessly. Which can be forgiven, considering how much Foster's life has been filled with real-world terror. On the other hand, why should we need to forgive any Hollywood person to appreciate her?   Ms. Moore seems to me to have the ability to don a role and lose herself in it like Charlize Therone does, without her "essential" self showing thru, unlike the thousands of Hollywood notables of both sexes whose immutable personalities do show thru.

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Charlize Theron (undated), by by Wiki {at Charlize Theron}

Along the frenzied way, serial killer-cannibal, medical Doctor Hannibal Lecter has extremely appropriate lines explaining why the FBI hates Clarence Starling; Lecter taunts Agent Starling by characterizing the FBI as just another Washington D.C. institution composed of second-raters concerned with their images and not their jobs, etc.; and so Hannibal has larger political implications than Silence had, the latter's politics being basically a 20th century's (strong) woman's statement putting rednecky cops in their place. The good Doctor also floats effortlessly in the art world of Italy, speaking good Italian and posing as a curator at a Florentine gallery. And" there are enormous pigs, from Sardinia, meant to eat the Doctor but diverted to de-face, as it were, a revenge-seeking, rich-b*tch, earlier victim.  

But enough (cry enough).

Net-flix the DVD "Hannibal" or buy it -- it's presently on sale at for about ten bucks. Especially if you share three or more of my foregoing judgments. I guarantee you won't be bored; in fact you will be very properly chilled.


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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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