I didn’t know what to expect going into Hitchcock. Movies about movies are hit or miss. There’s the great and underappreciated (The Last Shot) to the mediocre (What Just Happened?) to the bad (New Nightmare). Truth be told, I like New Nightmare, but that discussion is for another day. Come to find out Hitchcock is a love story. Great. I did a little research and the movie scored a few anticipation points because I liked the poster. So I sat down in the theatre and expected to be bored, I didn’t have a lot of expectations for it which is why I think I liked it so much.
We join Hitchcock just as North by Northwest is having its premiere and Hitchcock is looking for his next project. Lucky for him his assistant, played gracefully by Toni Collette, hands him a copy of the book Psycho. We all know what acclaim Psycho went on to achieve, but it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies trying to get it made and that is the basis for Hitchcock. What about the love story? you ask, don’t worry, it’s there, but it’s more complicated than you originally were led to believe. There’s actually several different love stories going on. One focuses on Hitchcock and his love for Psycho and the trials he faces with the press, the studio, and his personal life trying to get it made. Another focused with Hitchcock and his wife/partner and their complicated marriage. They both love each other, but inadvertently hurt each other with their harmless crushes, which comprise the other love triangles.
Anthony Hopkins is nearly unrecognizable as Alfred Hitchcock, but he transcends him and really makes it his own as if Alfred Hitchcock were a fictional character. His heavy prosthetics weren’t distracting either, unlike Leonardo DiCaprio’s in J. Edgar. Hopkins really brings heart and passion to the character. As a matter of fact there wasn’t one weak link in the actor chain. Even Scarlett Johansson, who I’m not a big fan of, delivers an enjoyable performance.
The script does an excellent job with character arcs and the right amount of humor. Hitchcock never takes itself seriously, but it’s not meant to. This isn’t some deep character study. If not for its lightheartedness Hitchcock might be considered a dark comedy, something that Danny Elfman’s excellent score seems to suggest. I don’t want to take anything away from the director, Sacha Gervasi, as he seems to be channeling some Tim Burton, Ed Wood era inspiration, but he makes it his own and delivers a truly enjoyable movie.
This is actually the first movie I’ve given a perfect score to, but due to release schedules it’s the third you’ve seen.
11 out of 11
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Check out the trailer below: