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Film Review: Hitchcock

Overview:
Hitchcock is based on the book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello and is set during the making of the 1959 Hitchcock classic, Psycho. It looks at the relationship between Alfred and his wife Alma throughout the production and the risks taken, both financially and creatively by the couple to release the film that they wanted.


 
Starring:
Anthony Hopkins (Alfred Hitchcock)
Helen Mirren (Alma Reville)
Scarlett Johansson (Janet Leigh)
James D’Arcy (Tony Perkins)
Jessica Biel (Vera Miles)

Dead Good rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Hitchcock Certificate (UK): 12A

Review:
Following the success of his film North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock is looking for his next project. Wishing to avoid falling into the trap of producing a formulaic crime caper he comes across the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch and becomes infatuated by the book and its protagonist, murderer Ed Gein.

Against a chorus of disapproval from friends, colleagues and the production studio, Hitchcock stands firm as he risks everything to make the film that would go on to redefine the horror genre and provide a peak in commercial success for an Alfred Hitchcock picture.

Anthony Hopkins puts in an interesting performance as ‘Hitch’ and offers a far more reserved interpretation than that of the one given by Toby Jones in The Girl. We are exposed to the darker side of Hitchcock’s personality, such as his lecherous nature to the female cast and his unconventional directorial methods. It’s these displays of weakness and emotional fragility that Hopkins portrays so well.

But the real star performance comes from Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife and creative partner Alma Reville. Despite having always played a vital role in the creative process throughout his career, Alma never sought the limelight or the recognition that her talent deserved. It’s not until she starts to emerge from the distinctive shadow of her husband that Alfred realises how much of an emotional and creative crutch she has been and how fundamental she has been to his success.

Our Verdict:
The film is, in essence, more about the relationship between Alfred and Alma than the production of Psycho. The real drama lies in the scenes where the relationship between the two is exposed.

Watch it if you like… The Girl

Reviewed by Luke Jeycock.

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