A new film called "Hitchcock", which stars Anthony Hopkins in the title role, looks at the period in director Alfred Hitchcock's life when he was making his now classic film "Psycho". NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following movie review.
Anthony Hopkins has played many real life historical figures before, from Adolf Hitler to Richard Nixon. For his latest film, he takes on the iconic film director Alfred Hitchcock.
"Hitchcock" focuses solely on the period in the director's life from 1959 through 1960, when he was making his classic film Psycho.
Hitchcock has just finished directing the successful North By Northwest, but the master of suspense has grown bored.
What he settles on is a movie based on the true story of a serial killer. It's a grisly horror film for its time and no one, including Paramount Pictures, wants to finance the project. So Hitchcock and his wife Alma, played by Helen Mirren, bankroll it themselves.
For a film lover, it's an absolute delight, as the viewer is transported back in time to a recreated set of "Psycho". In the process, we get a behind the scenes peek at how this masterful director works.
We also learn about his wife Alma. who was his uncredited collaborator. According to this film, it was Alma who came up with many of Hitchcock's brilliant movie ideas. She was also a wizard both with screenplays and in the editing room. The film shows you that he simply can't produce the same quality of work without her, which is sort of a revelation for any movie buff.
Scarlett Johansson is good as Janet Leigh, James D'Arcy is terrific as Anthony Perkins and it's fun to see Jessica Biel playing actress Vera Miles. Hopkins, who's buried under lots of prosthetic makeup, does a fine job as Hitchcock, but it's Helen Mirren who gives the best performance in the movie as unsung hero and wife Alma.
It's also interesting how Hitchcock, while battling the studio heads, who were hesitant to release "Psycho", had to devise his own clever marketing strategy to get people in the seats.
If you are a fan of Alfred Hitchcock or a student of film, you'll like this a lot. But if you're not familiar with his movies. I don't know how interesting you'll find this to be.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: 3 Apples