Hitchcock– Movie Review
Much like Alfred Hitchcock himself, the film that tells the story of the making of Psycho is campy, scary, and even wickedly funny. Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are great as Hitchcock and his little-known, incredibly important wife and collaborator, Alma Reville.
In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most famous, successful, and respected directors in the world- but considered past his prime. By choosing a bizarre, grisly true-crime store as the basis for his next film, Hitchcock turns Psycho into a personal quest to reinvent himself, re-capture his youthful excitement for filmmaking- and confront the deepest fears and insecurities in his life and marriage. Meanwhile, Alma must decide if she will continue to be the unaccredited genius behind her husband’s success, or will strike out on her own- in more ways than one.
I don’t know how true the plotline is (the Ed Gein portions seem to have been exaggerated a little), but it certainly captures the mix of horror, suspense, and humor that defined the director. The story builds like a Hitchcock plot itself (Dial M for Murder, maybe): a protagonist beset by mystical, alluring blondes; an unhappy marriage; obsession and voyeurism; a mystery to solve; and most of all, a game to be played. Hitchcock and Reville take dozens of tiny emotional knife stabs at each other throughout, before going in for the kill.
But this murder mystery somehow resolves itself happily. And that resolution is a bit troubling after the depths of depression and malice that have been established. But maybe that’s the most realistic part of all.
Hopkins is great. The heavy make-up, needed to add many pounds, is only distracting for a moment. Hopkins’ performance is so technically adept, his accent and laborious breathing more than make the weight believable. And like a true Hitchcock psycho, he makes us fear and pity the character all at the same time- gasping in one scene at the director’s cruelty, in the next sensing his earnest feelings of betrayal and exclusion.
Did you see Hitchcock? What did you think?