Hitchcock (2012) Review

Hitchcock Review

“Hitchcock” sets out to tell the story of celebrated director Alfred Hitchcock’s biggest career risk, the making of “Psycho”. The man himself is portrayed by an at times unrecognisable Anthony Hopkins, who plays him with an impish imperiousness, and all the swagger you would expect. Although the physical and vocal resemblance is enough to carry off the character, Hopkins’ Hitchcock lacks that jowly, Droopy-esque quality that made Hitchcock such an endearing character.

Helen Mirren, as Hitchcock’s feisty and devoted wife Alma Reville, is more than a match for the truculent Hopkins and the relationship between the two of them is the captivating core of the film as they struggle through professional and personal trials and tribulations to bring “Psycho”, with its at the time groundbreakingly shocking shower scene intact to the screen.

The supporting cast is suitable starry (Toni Collette, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Kurtwood Smith and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him Ralph Macchio) but the picture belongs to Hopkins and Mirren. This is a movie brimming with charm and charisma. There’s something particularly beguiling and glamorous about Hollywood in the 50’s and 60’s and “Hitchcock” doesn’t skimp on the magic. It evokes a (probably rose tinted) nostalgia for a time where Hollywood was run by larger than life characters and not by marketing focus groups and accountants.  If you’re looking for a gritty, warts and all documentary style take on the working practices of the great director, Alfred Hitchcock; this probably isn’t the film for you. This is the sanitised, macabre but friendly, cuddly Alfred Hitchcock of the mischievous TV monologues and the “Three Investigators” series of children’s books.

But not everything needs to be dark and gritty, and dramas based on true stories don’t need to obsess over every detail or character flaw in order to celebrate the flamboyance and genius of one of cinema’s greatest directors.

“Hitchcock” is an absolute joy, a lovingly crafted tribute to both a wonderful filmmaker and a golden Hollywood era.

Score 8



1 Comment

  1. ReasonableCritic September 19, 2013

    Has there ever been another director who made so many masterpieces and classics? Maybe Speilberg.
    As a Hitchcock fanatic, I’m not sure why I haven’t seen this yet. Maybe I was afraid that it would focus on his demons too much, but from your review it doesn’t sound like it does. I’m looking forward to it.

Comments are closed.