Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Directed by: Sacha Gervasi
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette & Danny Huston
Released: 2012
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: 4.5/5

Any film about influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock would no doubt be an unusual one. Which is definitely the case here but it’s not what I was expecting by a long shot. What we have essentially is a love story; between Hitchcock and his wife Alma that takes place during the filming of Hitchcock’s most ambitious and controversial picture Psycho in 1959.

We the audience are taken through almost the entire filmmaking process; from pitching the film to Paramount Pictures all the way to its released in theatres. And all the hurdles in between such as financial pressures and the question of content by the MPAA; specifically nudity and the horrifying thought of showing a toilet on screen.  But the main focus is on the relationship between Hitch and his beloved wife.

This film was really funny an extremely witty, which was another thing I didn’t expect. Within a minute of the film’s opening there was laughter throughout the cinema. I think the main reason it’s so funny is due the rather light hearted approach it has to the sinister element of the film and Hitchcock’s behaviour in general.

The film explores and displays Hitchcock’s insecurities and personal demons in a series of very bizarre and surreal dream like sequences with him interacting with serial killer Ed Gein who is portrayed disturbingly well by Michael Wincott. The manner in how Ed Gein murdered his victims being a strong inspiration to Psycho.

The casting in this film is the best I’ve seen in a long time. Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock is just superb. He may not look much like him in the facial area but with the whole fat suit, the mannerisms, the macabre sense of humour and that hypnotic stare, he just nails it so well. I don’t mean this in a negative way but he appears to have a child like quality about him. Helen Mirren as wife Alma is excellent; she provides a strong grounding force in her husband’s life and provides unconditional support despite his sort comings. The supporting cast are all great, especially Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins; the three stars of Psycho.

I must admit that I don’t know anything about director Sacha Gervasi but he is obviously a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock and knows his style of work quite well as it’s reflected in this funny, quirky and touching tribute to one of the greatest filmmakers to have ever lived. 

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