Dir. Sacha Gervasi
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
Alfred Hitchcock is without a doubt the master of suspense. Not only did he bring us superb spy tales THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and NORTH BY NORTHWEST but also reinvented the horror genre with PSYCHO and THE BIRDS. It would be blasphemy to decline Hitchcock’s brilliance and persistence to make his films. But all that didn’t come for free and as we see with new biopic HITCHCOCK.
Anthony Hopkins takes the lead role and what director Sacha Gervasi captures is the personal battles that faced him and wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) during the filming and creation process of PSYCHO. A line that blurs Hitchcock's fascination with his leading ladies and his determination to make ‘his’ film. Battling the studios after the success of NORTH BY NORTHWEST to make a movie based on the book which was even further based on the true events of Ed Gein.
This reflection on the drama that followed Hitchcock on the making of the film and the lengths that his persona took on him and his wife is both tragic and heart warming and while Hitchcock only ever made two ‘horror’ films, his passion with the macabre has always been evident.
Behind Hitchcock’s powerful presence, it is the breakdown of his personal life and his self belief that makes not only this film, but also the man himself so inspirational. Talking to his visions of Gein himself, he develops his film in his own way but with the falling down of his marriage it is ultimately the solidarity between him and Reville that bring the film together.
Look past Hopkins fat suit and the under-used usage of Gein's presence and everything in this film is both poetic and fantastic story telling and is a much watch not only for fans of Hitchcock but also for an educational trip in what it takes to make a film against the wishes of the studio executives.
Take out the raw material that is PSYCHO and HITCHCOCK is a biopic of his love life that balances both his genius and his flaws and it’s hard not to feel a cheer as they work through their mistakes and bring together possibly the greatest horror film ever.