Viewed – 31 August 2013  Blu-ray

I haven’t seen many of legendary British director Alfred Hitchcock’s movies bar the one this explores the making of, namely Psycho.  Shame as in all fairness that was a dramatic departure for a director best known for mystery thrillers than all out horror pictures.  This biopic stars Sir Anthony Hopkins in the title role and Dame Helen Mirren as his supportive, collaborating wife who aided him throughout their marriage.

Hitchcock Psycho Anthony Hopkins

Such a fascinating subject is given real class by two of the best actors in the business, along with the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel playing key members of Psycho’s cast.  Director Sacha Gervasi takes an interesting approach to exploring Hitchcock’s technique by having him haunted by Ed Gein, the real-life serial killer whose crimes inspired the writing of Psycho among other movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  Although it proved a little distracting as I found myself wanting to know about the killer every time he appeared rather than focusing on the subject at hand.  The whole movie is shot with nods to Hitchcock’s style, with a brooding score by Danny Elfman and plenty of lurking camera angles.  Hopkins of course shines in the lead role and is very good despite occasionally slipping into caricature with the odd dodgy make up moment.  Mirren offers fine support also and her storyline with her casual, flirtatious friendship with writer Whitfield Cook is well observed and gives her more to do than linger in the shadow of Hopkins.  Johansson though offers little more than eye-candy and look-a-like appeal, although her moment in the shower is brilliantly done.

As a biopic it offers up an interesting look at an iconic figure whilst only really touching the surface of his genius as a filmmaker.  As a look into the making of a classic film, it proves disappointing, offering up very little we didn’t already know.  Enjoyable and well acted, but with a style trying too hard to capture Hitchcock’s image, it fails to really reveal the man behind that iconic silhouette.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

4 thoughts on “Hitchcock

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