- Starring: Anthony Hopkins (Thor), Helen Mirren (The Debt), Scarlett Johansson (The Black Dahlia) and more.
- Directed by: Sacha Gervasi (Screenplay writer of The Terminal)
- Synopsis: “HITCHCOCK is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock, and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcock’s seminal movie PSYCHO.” (-Collider)
- Rated: Rated PG13 for language, sensuality and violence.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
Sir Anthony Hopkins stars as the “Master of Suspense” Alfred Hitchcock in this biopic of sorts that was misleadingly marketed as being focused on the making of his most famous movie, Psycho. While the making of Psycho is one of the focuses of this film, it serves as the backdrop to the events in the director’s life during the filming of his groundbreaking successful film.
When I first learned of this film and its rumored plot of the making of Psycho, I had little interest. One of the things I like about Hitchcock is the mystery and suspense that he is associated with. There’s something to be said for keeping the microscope off of the making of one of the most suspenseful films in cinematic history. I was pleasantly surprised as I watched and quickly realized that Psycho wouldn’t be “ruined” for me and that the making of served truly as the backdrop for the drama.
This movie is a love story. A story of love between a director and his filmmaking, a story of love between a man and his wife, a story of love between a filmmaker and his fans, a story of love between movie producers and money, and a story of love between forbidden wouldbe lovers. And, as love would have it, each of those sets of lovers have their troubles with trials, trust and tribulations, but also a few triumphs as love conquers all. (Interesting that a love story, or sorts, would be made about the “Master of Suspense.”)
- Sir Anthony Hopkins embodies the role of Alfred Hitchcock superbly, from his manner of speaking and iconic poses to his passion for film and portraying the side effects of his obsession, one A.H. played another A.H. perfectly! (My biggest criticism of Hopkins lately is that he tends to play the same character now in a lot of roles, he definitely became someone else by filling the shoes of the great Alfred Hitchcock.)
- Dame Helen Mirren: wow, just wow. I would question this movie if anyone other than her had filled the role of Hitchcock’s wife Alma. Who else could pull off the stunning example of a strong woman behind the mastermind. Believable in every way.
- Scarlett Johansson. Many people can’t seem to (or refuse to) buy in to her acting, stating that her last good role was in Lost in Translation. Well, BOO to all of the naysayers I proclaim! and if you still think so after watching her in this movie as Janet Leigh then you didn’t watch this movie. Johansson pays a wonderful tribute to Janet Leigh.
- The rest of the players were suitable enough, although I will mention that Jessica Biel’s casting seemed a bit off and underused.
By a show of hands, who here thought Scarlett was the most gorgeous actress on set?
- The included mention of additional stars and films of the time.
- The “transportation” back to the year 1959 via the look and feel (props, buildings, fashion, vehicles, etc).
- The exploration of the strained relationship between Alfred and Alma and the underlying hints of betrayal, adultery, fantasy, jealousy, rage and violence that translated directly into Hitchcock’s film.
- Hopkins as Hitchcock “directing” the production studios and the audience as they watch Psycho for the first time.
- The fact that the actors playing the characters in a movie (Psycho) about a man’s crazed obsession also play an important part in this story about a man (Hitchcock) and his crazed obsession that almost cost him his all.
This film, entitled “Hitchcock,” has received criticism for not only being misleading in its limited marketing, but also for being misleading in its title as it appears to focus more on Alma as opposed to Alfred. At first it did appear that way, but then, as I watched more, I began to believe it was more about both of them. (“Hitchcock”…meaning the two of them as one unit.) Both of them working together saw success in their lives, their marriage and their movie, and this film shares a look at that journey to the greatest success of their work (not Psycho…but their love for one another).
A love story about Alfred Hitchcock. Who would’ve ever guessed? Suspense, drama, violence, love…all of it is in this movie. Love stories often delve into the characters themselves and looks at their mannerisms, standards, beliefs, resolve and more. Hitchcock accomplishes that and brings in suspense in a story to which we already know the end of! Well done.
I leave you with two quotes from the Master of Suspense himself that I felt appropriate for this film:
“A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.” (Hitchcock is both.)
“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” (Hitchcock described his “biopic” to a tee.)
Score: 4 out of 5 stars for Hitchcock
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer