Putting Mr. McKee on the back burner in the hopes of screening his newest flick before covering him, I decided to take a look at Hitchcock instead. The movie Hitchcock is a slice of life of the ‘notorious’ Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock, his wife Alma, and the circumstances surrounding his most successful picture,and quite possibly one of the most recognized horror movies of all time, Psycho. With Anthony Hopkins as the man himself, Helen Mirren as his wife Alma, and Scarlett Johansson as his leading Janet Leigh, the movie was packed with outstanding star power.I could write a book about my life with Hitchcock, his show and films being the definitive start to my life long love of Horror and Film Noir. As a little demon tucked up under my covers with a flashlight reading his short story collections, that guaranteed all my toes would be safely snug under my blankets when I finally fell asleep. Psycho was the first horror movie I had ever seen, and from that point on, I couldn’t get enough.
The movie starts with Alfred Hitchcock (Hopkins) coming off of the success of North by Northwest, looking for a new story to sink his teeth into, that would dismay his audience. The studio wanted another mass marketable Film Noir, but Hitchcock was bored, needed a challenge at what he saw as the denouement of his considerable film career. That’s when he came across Robert Bloch’s book, about the killer that shocked the nation and would fuel many movies to come, Ed Gein. With Psycho, Hitchcock would break all the rules of Hollywood, and push horror into a new age.
The movie Hitchcock, I think honors him as the man and the legend. Going into his quirks (known to be a voyeur, and a bit of a perv), his perfectionist nature, his obsession with finding his ideal blonde leading lady, his determination and need to make the world see what he wanted them to see. The movie covers all these things, but above all, it’s a love story. It’s about his love for and connection with his wife Alma (Mirren), and how he wouldn’t, couldn’t be the great Director that the world expected without her by his side. The old adage holding true, behind every great man, there is a great woman.
Anthony Hopkins sank so deeply into the role of Hitchcock, that he is barely recognizable. In fact there were few players in the cast that weren’t outstanding, save for Scarlett Johansson, who fell a little short playing Janet Leigh, though playing the part of a real person is one of the most difficult roles any actor can play. Two actors stood out above the rest, James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins and Michael Wincott, playing Ed Gein. D’Arcy’s portrayal of Anthony Perkins was near starling, his mannerisms left you wondering if they pulled Perkins from the grave. Michael Wincott’s role was small, mostly clips of Gein’s imagined life haunting Hitch’s dreams, but it had a great impact on the film as a whole. It was a fantastic device on the part of Director, Sacha Gervasi, who has few directorial credits to his name, but managed to capture that cinematic feel that makes me a slave to the silver screen.
All in all I can say that the movie is one I will wholeheartedly recommend, and should have gotten far more attention than it did. Watch it, if you love the Master of Suspense, you will likely love it too. -Ruby