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.
REVIEW: Please allow me to start this out by stating that this film is a love story. It’s a love story to the craft of movie making, it’s a love story to movie thrillers, to the genre of suspense, but it is also the love story between Sir Alfred Hitchcock (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and his long suffering wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren).
When I was a little girl, I remember watching reruns of Alfred Hitchcock presents with my dad and if there was a classic Hitchcock movie on TV, the whole family was there. To this day, even with all of the technical advances and special effects in modern films, I’m still afraid if I see a bunch of birds flying over head. Hitchcock was a genius, no one can say different to me and this film truly is a tribute to him, not only as a filmmaker but as a man and husband.
The casting was excellent, although I must be honest, if you had asked me who I would cast as Alfred Hitchcock, I wouldn’t automatically have picked Anthony Hopkins. How could I have doubted such an incredible actor (well I probably would not have thought that the look was right), but boy, was I wrong! Sir Anthony plays Hitchcock uncannily. There was this way that Hitchcock would use his upper lip that was just so personally his and there it was! All I could think was “how’d he do that!” But let’s not stop there. Helen Mirren as Alma Reville was perfection. Although back then, the “woman behind a great man” was usually just a pretty face in the background, Alma was an accomplished editor, screenwriter and assistant director, but most importantly, an integral part of Mr. Hitchcock’s film making process and finally she is acknowledged. Scarlett Johansson was surprisingly good as Janet Leigh. Cine Marcos can’t stop gushing about how wonderful she looked and how she really fit the era so well. I must agree. Jessica Biel as Vera Miles was also lovely. So many talented actors worked on this film such as Danny Huston, Ralph Macchio, Toni Collette and more.
The film is centered in 1959, during the making of movie Psycho. The difficulties of getting the studio to go along with the film because of the gory true story behind it, the financial unknown that Mr. Hitchcock and his wife had to personally take on, Hitchcock’s own strange idiosyncrasies and Alma’s patient dedication. This film comes off as a really good episode of “True Hollywood Story”. It truly was a pleasure to watch and I felt as though I was back in my parents’ living room with my dad on Sunday nights.
The majority of the scenes are filmed on the soundstage of Psycho (I remember seeing the iconic Bates Motel on a tour of Universal studios when I was a kid), but there are some lovely scenes of the Hitchcock home and the Coast in California. The costumes are perfection but kudos has to go to make-up artist Howard Berger and his team for the transformation of Sir Anthony Hopkins into Sir Alfred Hitchcock.
If you are a fan of suspense films, a fan of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or just a fan of Alfred Hitchcock the man, go see this film and I promise you will not leave disappointed.
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