Even though the two leads are fantastic, I was relatively disappointed with Hitchcock. Sacha Gervasi directs the story of the “Master of Suspense” and his difficulties in creating perhaps the greatest horror film ever made, Psycho. The premise for this movie seems fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie about the making of Psycho? However, Gervasi decides to take a bizarre turn and makes Hitchcock somewhat of a romantic comedy.
Hitchcock takes place immediately after the release of North by Northwest. Alfred Hitchcock is struggling to find a new idea for his next movie. During his search, he reads a book called, “Psycho” and is instantly obsessed. No one believes that this would be a good movie so no studio will finance the movie. Hitchcock is so passionate about the project that he decides to mortgage his house and finance the movie himself. In the midst of all the stress from making this picture, Hitchcock is also struggling with marital issues with his wife, Alma.
Sir Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) plays Alfred Hitchcock perfectly in this film. The make-up artist did a fantastic job of making Hopkins look like Hitchcock but Hopkins was the one to master the unique personality of the iconic filmmaker. As good as Hopkins was, however, he was out staged by Helen Mirren (The Queen) who plays Alma Reville. Mirren eventually steals the screen with an electric performance that may give her an Oscar nomination. Another performance that some may find surprising was Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers). Johansson plays Janet Leigh and all I have to say is the resemblance is remarkable. The casting director for this film made perfect choices for every role. Unfortunately, the acting and casting are the only good things I have to say about Hitchcock.
The main problem I have with Hitchcock, is the genre of the film. I went in with very high expectations of seeing a film about the making of Psycho. Instead, the making of Psycho was a side bar and the main plot was about the love story between Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville. Every scene where they were on set, shooting Psycho was fantastic. You got to see how things were done, you were able to explore the complicated mind of Alfred Hitchcock, and you were able to witness the delicacy and passion that was put into this project. That was maybe only 30-40% of the movie though. The remaining chunk of the film was Alma’s jealousy and how she feels underappreciated. This was mixed in with Hitchcock’s suspicion of her having an affair. When I wanted a compelling behind the scenes look at Psycho, I instead received a story about two old people trying to mend their problems and fall in love once more.
Hitchcock contains brilliant performances but the story is dull and boring and that’s mainly because the director decided to focus on the wrong story. In my opinion, Psycho is the best horror film ever made. Hitchcock should have been ALL about the work that was put into it and the brilliance behind it. I wanted a full course dish about the making of this epic masterpiece. With Hitchcock, I only got a taste. C+