Basic Plot: Hitchcock is coming to his last movie of his contract, after some success, but some bombs, people have started wondering if he has lost his fastball. He is stuck trying to find inspiration. He comes across Psycho, and immediately becomes fixated on making the movie. He begins ignoring his wife, and their marriage coming under fire by one of her writing partners. Mrs Hitchcock is feeling a but left out by Hitchcock fawning over yet another blonde bombshell. Hitchcock is forced to put his house up to try and make the movie, his stress level even causes him to collapse. But the movie saves both his house and his career, and he comes to understand how important his wife is to both, and moves on from his blonde bombshells. The movie ends with Hitchcock triumphant, looking for his next inspiration, as a black bird lands on his shoulder.
I have never seen Psycho. Its one of those movies I have always wanted to see, but I hope that its not going to measure up to my expectations. So far on movies that I have always wanted to see, I’m 1 for 2 (Nosferatu, was a disappointment, but Oldboy exceeded expectations,)
So I have Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins as the director, starts off awesome. Ted Guin’s murder of of his father is shown, then spans over to Hitchcock watching it. Hopkins is Hopkins of course, but he works HARD in trying to get Hitchcock’s mannerisms down. For the most part he’s fairly successful, and you forget that its HOPKINS you are watching, so that alone makes it one of his best performances. Small issue is he more often than not looks like he is sucking on a mint or something, or at least, was before the take.
You have to feel sorry for Hitch’s wife, she looks like the long-suffering half of the marriage, constantly on him about his weight, his diet, his drinking, but also having to put up with his fawning over the Blondes in his movies, she has taken up swimming to keep her body as fit as possible, a requirement in Hollywood to be sure, the attraction of her writing partner is not really a surprise and unforced. Helen Mirren does a great job here, both with and without Hopkins.
The rest of the cast is serviceable, not really standing out, not even the Blonde Bombshell of the movie, and are there simply to react to Hopkins and Mirren, depending on who is on the stage with them. They are supporting cast, and it shows- not in a bad way, as it underlines just how dominant a figure Hitch is/was. Scarlett tries, but she does not do a very good job being Janet Leigh, she just does not convince me as a doe-eyed girl.
Again, I have never seen Psycho, and this movie does not hurt that film, since you really don’t see any of it, the two scenes closest to it is one of the driving scenes where Hitch is coaching the Blonde through the scene, and during the premier, when Hitch is directing the audience like an orchestra- one of the best parts of the entire movie.
Where the movie succeeds is when Hitch is on his craft, standing where the film is made, coaching the cast, and being himself, swearing in the crew, brow-beating anyone who tells him no, and when his weakness is shown, the drinking and eating and when he is with his wife.
Where I do not enjoy the movie is when the Ghost of Ed Guin shows up, I don’t feel it is necessary and I do feel it takes away from the movie, the opener excepted.
Final Thoughts, its a light movie, you don’t really learn anything about Hitch, or why he was such an awesome director, and you don’t get any behind-the-scenes breakthrough on Psycho or anything else. Its core, and to be honest, its worth it. Its not exactly a movie you want to run out and buy, but if you are a fan of t Hopkins, or just want to throw on something to watch while passing time waiting for Psycho to download, you could do worse. Its a solid 3. Not worth spending a dime on, but worth a viewing.
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