This film is unlike what you expect from a biopic, there is no abstruse birth, no arduous childhood, no majestic rise to fame and no deplorable death, although there is what falls between the latter two, the potential downfall. Hitchcock focuses on the time in the Master’s life in which he was embarking on the production of the film, which is now regarded as the film that defined his career, Psycho.
We see how Hitch put everything on the line, even his house, to make the film that he wanted and not what the studio wanted. We also see a representation of Hitchcock’s famed obsession with his leading ladies, although I feel like this serve’s as a slap in the face to someone with such clout, painting him as some kind of pervert rather than the anal-retentive artist he really was.
Anthony Hopkins gives a pleasing performance as Alfred Hitchcock, delivering some striking scenes – one in which Hitchcock is directing the renowned shower scene from Psycho and takes the knife to show the stunt double how to stab is probably his best – but is over shined by the immense Helen Mirren who delivers a performance which has become something of a routine for her as the stern wife of Hitchcock, Alma.
This film starts off weak in regards of narrative and editing, but the conflict built between Alfred and his wife, due to her close relationship to writer Whitfield Cook and Hitchcock’s obsession with actress Janet Leigh – played by the stunning Scarlett Johansson – brings the film to a strong and satisfying conclusion. We may not see this film win many, if any awards over the coming months and I fear this film will just whimper into film history like many films before it, but it is defiantly worth a watch for fans of the master.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Anthony Hopkins, Danny Huston, Helen Mirren, James D’Arcy, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette
Runtime: 98 mins
Cert UK: 12A