Hitchcock: Review

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This is an enjoyable, funny and interesting look into the life of Alfred Hitchcock, played here by Anthony Hopkins. However, it barely touches on his obsessive, creepy behaviour with his leading ladies and it is nowhere near as effective as the recent BBC TV movie, The Girl.

This biopic looks at the section of Hitchcock’s life in which he is making Psycho. At the time, it was considered too big a risk so no studio would finance the picture so he and his wife, Alma (Helen Mirren) put up the money themselves. While this looks at the making of Psycho, that film-making is more of a backdrop to an exploration into Alfred and Alma’s marriage.

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I did enjoy this and if it had been released before the BBC movie, it would have been fine as I wouldn’t have known anything about Hitch. However, in the BBC version, Hitch was possessive and lecherous towards leading lady Tippi Hendren (from The Birds) and I was hoping this film would look into that as well. It did touch on these subjects but it didn’t explore them- it skimmed the surface. Knowing what I know now about Hitch, I just don’t think it is an accurate depiction of his character.

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I feel like this movie isn’t really a biopic, just an interesting movie based on real-life characters. I felt that Alma was actually the star of the film as she stood out and was given more depth than anyone else. Helen was a perfect casting choice for that role. There is one scene in which Hitch accuses Alma of having an affair and the dialogue in that is brilliant and gripping. There aren’t enough scenes like it.

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The make-up for Hopkins was remarkable and he looks unrecognisable. He changed his voice as well and the way he walked. Both Scarlett Johansson as the star of Pyscho, Janet Leigh, and Jessica Biel, as a minor character, Vera Miles, were grossly underused and I would have liked to have seen more of them. I understand that the film focussed on Hitch’s marriage rather than movie, but I would have liked more behind-the-scenes action. Also, the part at the very end in which Hopkins narrate on-screen, straight to the camera, seems silly. I didn’t like that bit at all.

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I would say that if you wanted an enjoyable, easy watch about Hitch, watch this. If you wanted an uncomfortable, accurate depiction of Hitch, then watch BBC’s The Girl.

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