If the critics have been mixed about the movie, they’ve largely been in awe of “Gorillas in the Mist’s” star, Sigourney Weaver.
Thus proving Daily Variety’s prediction that “Solid acclaim will greet Weaver’s fierce central performance.”
“Weaver’s heroic performance as the martyred zoologist, Dian Fossey, is the overwhelming distinction of (the film)"--John Hartl , Seattle Times.
“Weaver’s performance--surely the most likely this year to be honored at Academy Award time--gives the movie a powerful centerpiece . . . It’s a beautiful essay on the dangers of single-mindedness"--Robert Denerstein, Rocky Mountain News.
"(The film) is propelled almost singlehandedly by the ever-electrifying Weaver. Whether she’s facing down Mel Gibson in (Indonesia), Bill Murray in Manhattan or hideous aliens in deep space, she is the closest thing Hollywood has to thinking, breathing wildlife; amid the primitive majesty of central Africa’s mountain gorillas, she is in her element"--Roger Piantadosi, Washington Post.
“Well worth seeing for (Sigourney) Weaver’s gutsy, beautifully shaded performance, for its African landscapes and for its glimpse, however incomplete, into a fascinating woman whose virtues and vices are still being hotly debated"--David Ansen, Newsweek.
“It’s Weaver who makes ‘Gorillas’ work well. She fearlessly plays a disagreeable, driven-yet-gentle woman. She’s no martyr, and that openness to flaws is what ultimately cements this picture together and keeps it from being a nature film"--Nat Segaloff, Boston Herald.
“What’s best about the film is how far it lets Weaver go . . . in what is certainly her best screen role, (she) refuses to sentimentalize the Fossey character"--Stephen Hunter, Maryland Sun.
“In ‘Gorillas,’ Weaver may finally have found a movie that measures up to her talents"--Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Well, not everyone fell in love with Weaver’s performance. “There’s something too stagey and sanctimonious about her portrayal of Fossey,” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle’s Peter Stack, who added, “The best performances are given by the gorillas.”