Friday, December 7, 2012


Now in his 60th year of life and on the heels of the most complete success of his career in "North By Northwest", Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) embarks on a self-imposed uphill battle with an attempt to fight boredom in his latest project: a screen adaptation of a seedy dime store chiller based on the exploits of notorious Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. With his utterly supportive and unfairly neglected wife Alma (Helen Mirren), Hitch begins to clear the many hurdles and assemble the pieces of "Psycho", what would become his heralded masterpiece. "Hitchcock" is an exciting and self-awared take on film's most well known director and the making of his best known work.  Although incredible, Sacha Gervasi's filming of Stephen Rebello's novel was made, I believe, not to be taken as gospel but as a clever and reverential way to pay homage to the Master of Suspense. Hopkins turns in a performance which is essentially imitation, but no less consummate and engaging. When beginning to write this sentence regarding Helen Mirren's work in the film, I decided to stop myself in an effort to avoid gushing once more over another peerless performance. As for the many supporting roles the ones that stood out for me were Michael Stuhlbarg playing Hitch's famed Hollywood agent Lew Wasserman, Danny Huston as a writing associate of Lady Hitchcock (in a plotline that doesn't really work), and surprisingly Scarlett Johansson who comes off surprisingly well and exceeds my considerably low expectations in playing Janet Leigh. After watching the lurid recent TV movie "The Girl", it was quite a pleasant surprise to see such a funny, tongue-in-cheek, beguiling though imperfect treatment of similar material.