Film review: Hitchcock

KATE MEAD
Last updated 05:00 10/02/2013
Hitchcock

HITCHCOCK: Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren star in this biopic of the late, great film director.

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Hitchcock, M, 99 mins 

We know the squealing, stabbing music; the woman squealing in the shower; the stabbing of the knife. One of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is when Marion Crane meets her maker at the hands of "Mother".

Hitchcock is the movie of the book of the movie. It depicts the process from Hitch (Anthony Hopkins) reading Psycho, based on the story of serial killer Ed Gein, and translating it on screen. This film explores the director's worries that he's too old to make good movies, with critics saying he's lost his touch and touting new "Masters of Suspense". But more than anything, Hitchcock is a love story between Hitch and his wife, Alma Reville.

Alma (played by a consistently brilliant Helen Mirren) is portrayed as an unflinchingly loyal wife, a support beam of Hitchcock's career, and indeed worthy of cinematic credits in her own right.

The pair swap sharp banter: "Tell me my dear, do you think I'm too old?" Hitch asks Alma. "Yes, you're a true relic," she replies.

And in this version of their romance, Alma seems to turn a blind eye on Hitch fancying his leading ladies (and that side of the director is played down in this film, save for a few times he peeps through window shutters).

Hopkins owns this role, even though he is almost unrecognisable, his burgeoning beach ball of a belly swelling over pants, thanks to a fat suit.

Directed by Sacha Gervasi, Hitchcock contains a famous cast that gels together pretty well, with Toni Colette as Hitch's assistant, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins.

This film is solid, entertaining, and provides an intriguing insight into a love story in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

 

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