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| 29 January 2013 | Reply

Directed by Sacha Gervasi
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlet Johanssen
Reviewed by Dani Deville



With such a title you might expect a biopic of the life and times of Big Alf,  however, the story recounts the events surrounding the production of Hitchcock’s most successful movie, Psycho.

Picking up after the release and success of Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock is shown as bored, restless and looking for the next big project. When he reads an account of a grisly murder in a newspaper, Hitchcock becomes convinced that this is the direction in which he needs to take his next film, despite the objections of his wife, Alma Reville, his entourage and his producers.

Fascinating subject matter for a movie, particularly given Alfred Hitchcock’s notorious eccentricities on set, no doubt. However this film is lacking in its execution. Granted Sir Anthony Hopkins’ delectably quirky performance as Alfred is spot on! The amazing make-up combined with Hopkins’ ability to replicate big man’s mannerisms and speech patterns perfectly, make the performance believable.  Helen Mirren is as wonderful as usual in the role of Hitchcock’s long-suffering and ever patient wife. Scarlett Johansson harnesses all of the charm and grace of Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy pulls off a spectacular Anthony Perkins impersonation. Yet the movie itself falls flat and is far from doing justice to Hitchcock’s genius. The film isn’t without its moments. There are some interesting insights into Hitchcock’s on-set antics for example which end up being very humorous and from time to time a little disturbing. But all in all this comes across as more of a romantic drama than a biopic about a charismatic, eccentric genius, who just happens to be the grandfather of modern horror movies.

I couldn’t help feel that more could have been done to make this film as riveting and fascinating as its subject matter.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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