Hitchcock- 4 out of 5
Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most influential directors of all time who not only earned his moniker of “Master of Suspense” but has the word “cock” in his last name and has caused young teenage boys all over the world to laugh when they first learned about him. The man created millions (number slightly exaggerated) of films that continue to be as powerful today as they were when they were when first created but none has been more revolutionary or controversial than his horror film Psycho.
Hitchcock tells the story of how the director obsessed with the idea of adapting the popular novel that was inspired by the real-life killer from my home state of Wisconsin; Ed Gein (played in the movie by Michael Wincott). Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) struggles with getting the film financed and passed by the studio executives for release but also must struggle with seeing his wife; Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), take the time to adapt a script with the debonair, attempted wife-screwer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston). Meanwhile, Hitchcock deals with dreams and visions of being visited by Gein that aid him in figuring out what his wife is doing and how to go about making a film that many people don’t want him to make.
|Ed Gein is from Wisconsin WHOO!! Wait...that's not something to be proud of.|
I really wanted to see this one in the theater because I thought that it not only looked good but I’m a fan of Hitchcock’s work and Psycho still remains as my favorite horror film of all time (I even own a door hang that reads “Do Not Disturb: In the Shower” with a Bates Motel logo underneath it). Overall, I really enjoyed the film as I found it dramatic, creative, humorous and all around fun to watch.
|Hitchcock's Dump Face.|
The dramatization the film took on the process of making Psycho a reality really made for a great story and the use of “dream sequences” that involved Hitchcock talking to or watching Ed Gein work in his home really gave the film a sense that it could belong in one of Hitchcock’s iconic films. Granted the film’s direction and tone don’t match the film’s Hitchcock made but it made for a nice story that was simultaneously funny and dramatic.
Granted the film’s story has a few problematic elements; namely the conflict between Hitchcock and Reville. Hitchcock loves to fall in love with his female leads and often engages in imaginary fantasies with them while his wife starts down a path to could lead to infidelity with Cook. While Hitchcock’s obsession with the possibility that his wife is cheating on him dominates the film’s story about as much as the actual creative process of Psycho, Reville’s side of the story doesn’t see as much focus.
|Hipsters will watch this movie for those glasses alone.|
Sure we see her meeting with Cook and we see sequences that hint she may be considering having a roll in the sack with the man but a majority of the time we are treated with seeing Hitchcock’s suspicions. Of course the film is about him (the title is fucking Hitchcock for crying out loud) but it would have been nice to see some more of the story told through the woman who stood at his side. Then, when their problems come to a head, they are resolved really quickly. This drive-thru conflict resolution isn’t a huge problem and it didn’t take me out of the film but it is noticeable.
|The longer you stare at this picture, the funnier it becomes.|
Beyond the creative way the film’s story is told, the best aspect of the film is the cast. Anthony Hopkins really looks and acts like Hitchcock (and in case you ever forget, the movie is sure to remind you as it constantly films him from his profile and throws in a lot of silhouette gags). Hopkins performance is so good that you are quick to forget that it’s Hannibal Lecter up on the screen and he’s accompanied by Helen Mirren as Hitchcock’s wife. The make-up done in the film to make Hopkins look like the legendary director was tremendous but someone should have won an award for making Mirren slightly unattractive because I thought that shit was impossible.
|Pictured: The impossible.|
The rest of the cast is filled with people who are seemingly designed in a laboratory for their roles. Scarlett Johansson lends her
ANYWAY…even more unsettling than my mistake about how this film didn't have Biel showing skin is the fact that James D’Arcy not only plays Anthony Perkins but seemingly becomes him. It’s either that or the studio lied about the existence of the actor named James D’Arcy and did some voodoo ritual in conjuncture with a science experiment and spat in the faces of the numerous gods to exist throughout time and space to resurrect the man who played Norman Bates for only a few minutes of screen time.
|Nope. They totally did some ritual in order to get Perkins for this film.|
In the end, Hitchcock was just an entertaining film that told the story of making one of the greatest horror films of all time in a fun way. The use of Hitchcock talking to a spectral Ed Gein made the film interesting and the acting and gags were extremely entertaining…but it all really pales in comparison when you see Hopkins kill it as Alfred Hitchcock.