Oscar Winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren are spellbinding in this provocative story about the making of one of cinema's most iconic films. Plagued by both a reckless ego and nagging self-doubt, Hollywood legend Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) becomes obsessed with a grisly murder story that the studios won't back. Determined, he risks his reputation, his home and even the love of his wife Alma (Helen Mirren), as he sets out to make the film. Ultimately, Hitch wins Alma over, and the two collaborate to create an enduring masterpiece - Psycho.
Wonderfully entertaining, funny and informative film
- Hitchcock review by PV
(1) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 5
I loved this film and laughed out loud several times during it. Great script, with interesting dream sequences, good female roles, superb framing with an intro and ending, and some genuinely classic scenes. This film should have won Oscars and awards galore.
If anyone has seen the sexist, scurrilous BBC drama called The Girl about Hitchcock - which basically set out to portray him as leering disgusting pervert - then watch this and see what real talent and good writing, acting and directing can do (it seems we can't find much of it at the BBC these days). Hitchcock is class; the BBC movie was trash.
This is 5 stars easily - for acting, script, direction, music, the lot.
Like Theory of Everything this is a biography seen from the perspective of the celebrities wife. Because of this it also shares strong female roles. Alma Hitchcock played by Helen Mirram is a force to be reckoned with, I thought Toni Colette was exceptionally good as the quiet unassuming but very influential secretary and Scarlett Johansson brilliant as the leading lady in Psycho. All 3 were believable and interesting, more than can be said for just about all of the male actors. Hopkins imitation of Hitchcock was laughable, I don't think it was supposed to be, the directors of the studio were completely average, fortunately the female roles dominate the plot and so momentum is carried and a view of this brilliant director is shown from a different and emotional angle.
A dramatic romance that explores the powerful but changeable relationship between prolific film maker Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma, starring two Oscar winners in the leads Hitchcock was bound to be an impressive biopic, however the performances by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirran as Alfred and Alma are both such beautiful portrayals that within minutes you can’t help but be hooked.
Set in the late 1950’s when Hitchcock, currently one of Paramount’s most favoured directors, has just purchased the rights for a little film called Psycho, despite his popularity Hitchcock is struggling to fund the movie; studio believe it has no hope and outside funders are worried about the graphic violence in the story. With only his wife Alma and his own determination behind him Alfred strives on, and we all know what happened to that “little movie” when it was finally released…
The tone of the film is spot on, based on the book by Stephen Rebello and adapted by Black Swan screenwriter John J. McLaughlin, the film mirrors the dark but alluring voyeurism inherent in Psycho itself. Yet there is nothing sinister about the story as such, yet we can not help but be intrigued; the paradoxically intimate but distant relationship between Alfred and Alma – they sleep in separate beds and eat at separate tables – is complimented wonderfully by Hopkins and Mirran’s on screen chemistry that, unlike the electrical sparks of romance, virtually hums with an underlying sensation of truth and reliance.
It is the performances that make this film, not just Hopkins and Mirran, but Scarlet Johansson as lovely as the real Janet Leigh, James D’Arcy as disconcerting as the on-screen murderer Anthony Perkins and a well disguised Toni Colette as Hitchcock’s impeccable assistant, all culminate in a truly interesting 100 minutes that provide a brief peek into the world of the Master of Suspense.