Tagline: “Behind every Psycho is a great woman.”
Hitchcock hits all the right notes in creating a witty, gripping atmosphere, telling the audience the story behind the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece horror, Psycho. Set at the end of the 1950s and starring an unrecognisable Sir Anthony Hopkins as the master of classic scary movies, the film directed by Sacha Gervasi has managed to pursue an Academy Award Nomination for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling.
This is easily understandable, what baffles me is how it has managed not to win the award as well – I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw Hopkins enter the scene. Buried in what I believe is a fat suit and with multiple facial prosthetics, the actor undergoes a terrific transformation to embody Alfred Hitchcock, and does a great job of this as well. Helen Mirren also stars as Alma Reville, the director’s wife and long-term consultant in his film making career. This biographical movie follows his journey looking for a new hit-horror picture to direct after his success with North by Northwest. At the same time, the pair go through a period of marital discord caused by the tension and pressure of the movie-making process.
Despite everyone’s great apprehension towards choosing his next film adaptation to be the horror novel Psycho and his continuous bad luck regarding finances, Hitchcock carries on with his plan of producing something fresh to further boost his career. Unfortunately, the book starts slowly taking over every aspect of his life, disturbing his sleep and getting under his skin even in his dreams. This is the root cause of his seemingly constant arguing with Alma who grows increasingly unhappy with Hitch’s obsession for blondes, whom he casts as his main stars in his motion pictures.
He finds the perfect representation of the main character in Psycho, Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson), who by no coincidence happens to be a blonde, and gives her the part.
The audience learns, however, that Hitchcock is in fact a much more ordinary man without his wife, who has always been his number one confidant, cinematic adviser and the one who looks out for him in every aspect of his life (including his diet).
In the end, we can draw the obvious conclusion that Alma is the film’s secret heroine and Hitch makes no exception of showcasing this to the world.
Even if you’re not a massive Alfred Hitchcock fan I can guarantee you will enjoy this film. Every aspect of the acting is spot on, with excellent cinematography and a perfectly appointed cast. The action is lively yet mysterious, keeping you interested in what is going to happen next, so I would most definitely call Hitchcock an overall success. Too bad it hasn’t quite received all the praise it deserves.