Saturday, December 8, 2012


Movie Name: Hitchcock
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Wincott, James D'Arcy, Richard Portnow, Kurtwood Smith, Ralph Macchio, Tara Summers, Judith Hoag, Josh Yeo
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Sacha Gervasi's debut feature focuses on director Alfred Hitchcock's attempts to create his fantastic and now classic film, "Psycho". For someone with such a rich personality and with a catalogue of films as stunning and beautiful as Hitchcock, this film feels like a pale and small homage, but the film is not without some merits. The film follows the aftermath of the premiere of Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" and his decision to adapt the book "Psycho", which was influenced in turn by the killings of Ed Gein. Hitchcock always made his films with the close collaboration of his wife and partner, Alma Reville, who as the years have progressed, has noticed the director's obsession with his beautiful leading ladies and with her progressive invisibility in the public perception. When the studios refuse to back "Psycho" financially, Hitchcock decides to invest his own money into the production, creating some strains and stress to himself and his relationship with Alma.
Tackling the life of someone as iconic and talented as Alfred Hitchcock is always an herculean task. The biopic of Charles Chaplin by Richard Attenborough was a mediocre effort for another larger than life person, though "Hitchcock" has smaller ambitions, which ends up with better results. The film focuses on a few years as Hitchcock battled studios and the MPAA for the release of his iconic film "Psycho". The film delves deeper into the relationship of the director with his long time wife, Alma Reville, who was an instrumental part of the creative process for his films. Her longing to be away from his overbearing needs and shadow is touched in the film, as is his reverence and obsession with the beautiful women who always populated his films. Where the film falters is in the un-necessary day dreams of Hitchcock with Ed Gein, which add nothing to the story or to the mood. Sacha Gervasi who made his name as a screenwriter (he wrote Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal") makes an interesting film with good performances from Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Toni Collette, but the overall tone is one of wasted opportunity. An interesting film nonetheless.