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Our review of the documentary Hannibal Hopkins and Sir Anthony: La chance d'un dunce on Arte


CRITICISM – Over a beautiful portrait signed by sisters Clara and Julia Kuperberg, all the complexity of the actor who became famous thanks to the Silence of the Lambs appears. Hannibal Hopkins and Sir Anthony, a documentary not to be missed this Sunday, November 27 at 10:45 p.m. on Arte and

Late recognition.

Born on December 31, 1937, Anthony Hopkins will have waited almost thirty years before knowing the celebrity and to feel legitimate in the trade.

The Welsh-born actor, currently starring in

Armageddon Time,

James Gray's latest film, only achieved world stardom in 1991. Thanks to his role as a cannibalistic psychopath in

The Silence of the lambs

by Jonathan Demme.

On receiving an Oscar for his masterful performance, this only son immediately thought of his parents:

“Above all, I would like to say hello to my mother… My father died eleven years ago, maybe to also be thanks to him…

”Later, amused, in an interview found by the sisters Clara and Julia Kuperberg, he lets go:

“Now I can make turnips and I didn't miss it!


baker's son

The two directors and producers reconstruct her trajectory in a very rich and relevant documentary, illustrated with archive footage and excerpts from interviews.


Hannibal Hopkins and Sir Anthony

, this new film insists on the complex character of the actor.

The result is a lovely portrait that received the Best International Documentary Film Award from the AmDocs Festival in Palm Springs.

Sir Anthony presents himself as someone happy "

in his own way"

, but he doubted himself from childhood.

I was stupid, today it looks dyslexic… Retarded, slow.

Dunce, the boy stays in his corner, but already dreams of being famous.

The black and white photographs which represent him as a kid in a suit and tie with his parents are moving:

"They were worried about me, but strangely, I had an idyllic childhood

", affirms this son of a baker who plays Beethoven in the piano and helps his father in the bakery.

Stage fright problem

Anthony Hopkins will take time before loving himself and finding a balance in his existence.

“I don't know what my role is in this world,”

he points out.

Before finally finding the answer: to be an actor.

In 1965, Sir Laurence Olivier hired him at the Royal National Theater in London, but "his" pupil did not find his place in the theater and even less in an institution.

“I was my own enemy

,” said the man who tried to escape reality by drinking.

Stage fright must have been part of the problem.

“To succeed in this job, you really have to be disturbed”

, laughs the actor who, at 37, decides to change his life, radically.

He leaves his wife and their daughter and goes to Hollywood to make movies.

He discovers tequila there, gets carried away on film sets.


I felt very unhappy and very unstable and had no self-confidence,

" he says.

A fragile and touching character

The artist takes care of himself, works like a dog.

In 1978, Richard Attenborough's


, where he is a truer-than-life ventriloquist, gives him wings.

He is convinced:

“Acting has been therapeutic for me


If I hadn't been an actor, I wouldn't have become a good person."

His role as a doctor in David Lynch's

Elephant Man

inspires Jonathan Demme.

Anthony Hopkins will be his monster from The

Silence of the Lambs


“Playing the madness of a madman is ridiculous, I chose to play his super sane side

,” the actor explains in an archive from the time.

Jodie Foster has not forgotten how much he had destabilized and … frightened her.

The star will then be on familiar ground for Francis Ford Coppola's


, then will begin to work with James Ivory,

Return to Howard Ends


The Remains of the Day

… Until

Oliver Stone's

Nixon .

"I was very lucky"

, observes the one who embodies a fragile and touching character, suffering from senile dementia, in

The Father

, Florian Zeller's film released in 2020. But isn't it also and above all the seventh art that is lucky enough to have such a phenomenon in its ranks?

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2022-11-27

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