If you think the new film “Hitchcock” is going to be a biographical movie about the famed filmmaker, you’d only be partially correct. It is primarily about the origins and production of the motion picture “Psycho” and Alfred Hitchcock’s marriage to his long-suffering wife Alma, played perfectly by Helen Mirren, who in some ways, gives the best performance in the movie.
Don’t get me wrong. Anthony Hopkins does a nearly perfect of recreating Hitchcock, but the dynamics between him and his wife are the most important and valid elements of the script. Hitchcock, who was famous for falling for his blonde-headed leading ladies, is also constantly worried about what he fears is his wife’s unfaithfulness with a playboy screenwriter, played by Danny Houston.
Hitchcock was driven to make the movie “Psycho,” even though Paramount Pictures refused to provide financing. Hitchcock mortgaged his own home to the tune of $800,000 to bankroll the production, and when the first print looked like the film would be a flop, enlisted the help of his wife to re-edit the motion picture and eventually make the film the classic it became. The joint effort also saved his marriage.
“Hitchcock” has a superb supporting cast,
James D-Arcy is brilliant as Tony Perkins. Scarlett Johansson appears as Janet Leigh. Vera Miles is played by Jessica Biel.
“Hitchcock” is full of the personality and cynical humor of the famed director. Both the very first moments of the movie and the final scene are very clever. I have a feeling the movie ends up making Hitchcock look like a better person than he really was. Also, there is never any mention of his daughter.
But in the end, the film is still engrossing and reasonably revealing. It showcases a Hollywood legend, one of his most famous films and how it got made. That alone makes it worth seeing.