2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Doesn't do the man justice...
, April 25, 2013
This review is from: Hitchcock (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
I'm a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I think most people are, or even if they aren't they can certainly appreciate the impact he's had on film in general. Fewer names are as known as Hitchcock's, and fewer films are as associated with that name as `Psycho'. So, when you have a film devoted to exposing what went on behind the scenes of the filming of that monumental film, you have my attention.
Sadly, this doesn't all work out like I had expected.
The film shuffles a few angles to try and compose a well-rounded look at Hitch and his process, but it doesn't all come together like it thinks it does. Opening with a shot of Ed Gein killing his brother and then having Hitchcock infamously narrate the proceedings, `Hitchcock' opens with promise. Moving from there to the aftermath of success from Hitchcock's `North by Northwest' and the struggle to find something new and exciting, we see him set his sights on `Psycho', a novel inspired by Gein's killings and something far too violent and grisly for Paramount to accept. So, Hitchcock decides to fund it himself, and he goes to work. We see his relationship with his wife, Alma, and her need to more recognition and purpose and the fact that her friend Whitfield Cook continually tries to woo her. We see his onset antics, his paternal relationship with Leigh and his vile contempt for Vera Miles. We see him fight with his inner demons as well as the studio, and yet it all feels so thankless.
That is really the only word that comes to mind when I think of this film. It's thankless. Nothing really stands out as noteworthy, other than those sets and costumes. The performances are uniformly decent, but no one really stands out other than maybe Mirren, who shades Alma in a way that feels lived in. Johansson, Biel, Collette and D'Arcy are barely there at all, Huston is certainly a stereotype with little meat to hold him together and Hopkins looks too much like DeVito's Penguin to make much of a real impact. The interwoven storylines, particularly those involving Gein, serve as an interesting concept and yet don't really add much to the overall film itself. I felt like Hitch was never really explored. All of the horror stories revolving around his domineering, egotistical and sexist ways was never presented as anything more than a fleeting possibility. It is far too sentimental a film to have much bite.
I loved the idea of it being a comedic take on the man, full of cheeky fun and insight and yet it just felt bland and uninteresting.
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