1. James D'Arcy's Perkins
2. Overall casting
3. Subtle homages
1. Weird Michael Wincott cutaways
2. Low-stakes plot
3. Not enough backstage "Psycho"
'Hitchcock' delivers with little suspense
There will be no red herrings here. If you are not a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and his work, this movie is not for you. The more you know about the man, his films, television series and advertising style, the more you will get out of this movie. If you’re a Hitchcock novice you will either be bored or apathetic.
An example of this in the film is the studio executives’ constant threat to Hitchcock to avoid making another “Vertigo” flop. The director is about to start his next big project and is insistent on turning the real-life story of a psychologically warped Wisconsin murderer into the first commercial slasher film. The men with the money are afraid of another box office bust, but Hitchcock proceeds with confidence.
This year “Vertigo” replaced “Citizen Kane” as the greatest film of all time according to Sight & Sound magazine proving that Hitchcock knew what he was doing all along.
And we know that’s true with “Psycho,” the director’s most famous film. Even when times get tough, the stakes aren’t high because we already know this story has a happy ending.
The most impressive aspect of this movie is the casting. When the photo of Anthony Hopkins posing next to a still of Alfred Hitchcock was released the Internet exploded with praise and appreciation. Not only does Hopkins pull off the look, he also delivers the talk and the walk.
Helen Mirren stars opposite as Hitchcock’s talented wife, Alma. I’m not sure how accurate their relationship is portrayed, but I hope it’s close. It doesn’t matter that we’re less familiar with Mirren’s character because she plays her with such an attractive wit and fire.
We root for this couple, and feel for them when things don’t go their way.
“Hitchcock,” in essence, is a love story. After being married for 35 years, and in the middle of what appears to be a mid-life crisis, the couple struggles with some real emotional issues like abandonment, infidelity, and control.
While this would all make for an entertaining film there is no denying the real fascination in this picture is the behind-the-scenes look at Hitchcock’s horror masterpiece.
As a fan of the original “Psycho” it is captivating to see the road blocks the filmmakers were up against while producing this film.
Scarlet Johansson does a great job portraying Janet Leigh on and off the film set, and it’s nice to see Jessica Biel flex her acting muscles in a more serious role. But the supporting cast is blown away by James D’Arcy’s performance. The casting of D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins is so spot-on it’s both inspiring and terrifying.
Alfred Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films over the course of sixty years and is known as the Master of Suspense.
That’s why it was such a big deal that he took on “Psycho” as his next project. Hitchcock was known for mystery thrillers, not slashers.
For that reason alone, seeing “Hitchcock” and the “making of” aspect of this film is fascinating. Even though we know everything will be all right in the end it’s still an interesting story.
If you can go to the movies for the ride and appreciate the details of how you get to the end you will enjoy yourself at “Hitchcock.”
If you're a Hitchcock fan, or know enough about the Master of Suspense to appreciate 98 minutes of his life, go and enjoy. Otherwise just rent "Psycho."