Saturday, 2 March 2013

Hitchcock 2012 Review

Alfred Hitchcock is widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest director of all time. In a career that spans over 40 years he is synonymous with creating some of the most iconic films ever, from Vertigo to Rear Window. But in 1959, he was having trouble finding his next film project. Hitchcock needed something new, something exciting because he had a lot to live up to. The film 'Hitchcock' explores this period, when he was going through some tough times while making his most famous film, 'Psycho'. 'Hitchcock' is part of the current wave of films that are based around the production of real films, a subject I find fascinating, but is it any good?

The film follows Hitch ("hold the cock") as he finds a book called 'Psycho' and adapts it from page to screen with little support from the studio but plenty from his wife and long time collaborator, Alma, one of Hollywoods unsung heroes. Hitch himself had said that if Alma hadn't agreed to marry him, then he wouldn't be remembered today. It's this relationship that is explored most in the film, the stress and strains the couple are put under as they mortgage their house to make 'Psycho'. Further complications arise when Alma attempts to work away from Hitch on a script with a man named Whit, who I'm pretty sure is a fictional character created for the film in order to add a little more drama.

Anthony Hopkins makes a wonderful Hitch, disappearing beneath his amazing make up to bring the man back to life by capturing his dark charm and humour. But it's Helen Mirren's Alma who steals the film as his devoted wife, who tirelessly helps with the writing, editing and even directing when the man himself was too ill to work, all uncredited of course. Mirren shines in a subtle performance that deserves all the recognition it's receiving. The supporting cast are also very good, from the creepily spot on James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins to the surprising Jessica Biel, but it's Scarlet Johannson who impressed me the most with her brilliant performance as Janet Leigh. While Toni Collette was good, I felt she was underused for such a wonderful actress.

The parallel scenes that depicted the true story of Ed Gein was interesting, as Norman Bates was based upon this real life serial killer, but it never quite worked for me. The therapy session felt out of place but I did like the opening with Hitch addressing the audience like one of his famous film trailers. While 'Hitchcock' has flaws and didn't deal with any issues in real depth i.e. his obsession with his leading ladies, it's still a good film that is well written, well made and wonderfully acted. Well worth a watch, especially if you're a Hitchcock fan.

1 comment:

  1. Not the best film ever but I really enjoyed it. Just fun easy viewing although a bit more depth wouldn't have hurt.