It is 1959, and Alfred Hitchcock (played by Anthony Hopkins) has already established himself as a reputable Hollywood film director, but his image as an eccentric and somewhat difficult craftsman to work with has started to overshadow his ability to draw crowds to the box office. Desperate to refresh his public notoriety and his relationship with his supporting studio, Hitchcock decides to go out on a limb and create a movie that is far removed from all his previous work. This is the story of the events in the making of “Psycho” and the relationship between Hitchcock and his long-suffering but adoring wife Alma Reville (by Helen Mirren) during the filming.
We view this biography from the perspective of Alma, Hitchcock’s wife. He is portrayed as a dedicated filmmaker who is likely to become infatuated with his current leading lady, but only for as long as each filming lasts. A string of disgruntled femmes litter his life and he tends to disregard this, along with most of the other realities of life (apart from his love for Alma), in favour of his creation process. Scarlett Johansson is lovely as Janet Leigh and a series of other stars such as Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel and Michael Stuhlbarg provide strong support roles. As always, Helen Mirren is marvellous and the “Hitchcock” make up worn by Anthony Hopkins is excellent. It’s not a blockbuster, but it’s fine to pass the time – perhaps when you’re on a long haul flight sometime.
Made in 2012. Directed by Sacha Gervasi