Having read many of the more famous movie critics pick this film apart, I still had a great desire to see this film. The subject matter and actors made this a must see for the 2012 film season in my book. The first problem was the limited amount of theaters showing the film. I actually had to wait for it to show up at a discount theater, which is where I viewed the film today. The long wait and the negative reviews were all brushed aside as I saw Alfred Hitchcock before my eyes- courtesy of Anthony Hopkins.
Hopkins no doubt, spent endless hours learning how to speak and act like Mr. Hitchcock. It wasn't just his voice that comes across as authentic, its also some of his poses and glances. I had even heard some rumblings about the choice of Hopkins to play the famous director. There is no doubt that this selection was the right one. Its easy to try and find problems with someone who is portraying an icon. But make no mistake Hopkin's delivers in his best role in recent memory.
Many of us grew up watching Hitch on his tv program reruns. As a nice touch in the film it starts and ends like one of his television shows- with Hitchcock's classic comments about what we are going to see and what we have just witnessed. The film shows us the behind the scenes making of Psycho and all that went right and wrong in the process. What to do when Paramount doesn't want to finance your new film? A disgruntled actress at the end of her contract has to co-exist with Mr.Hitchock. There are problems with the Hitchcock marriage. Many things are going on and yet, Hitchcock with the help of Alma (Hellen Mirren)pull things together their way.
Hellen Mirren is incredible as Mrs.Hitchock- Alma. She should be up for an oscar and would deserve the victory if it comes here way. Having to deal with the demands of being married to the most famous director in the world and having her own dreams weighs on her mind. She strives to find a balance between the two. And its her help that was the extra push for many of Hitchcock's films. One of the best scenes in the film is when Mirren tells Hitchock how it is in a frustrated outburst. It lasts for several moments as Alfred stands and stares without a word to say. One of those signature scenes that you will always remember an actor/actress for. And this was Mirren's moment.
Not to be forgotten are some of the supporting actors/actresses. Scarlet Johannson plays Janet Leigh very effectively. And she delivers on another great moment and one of films great scenes- the shower scene of Psycho. I don't know if it was rehearsed many times or on one take, but it was really well done. Vera Miles was played by Jessica Beil. Although she didn't have a lot of scenes, she was good as the actress who disappointed Hitchcock for having a family, when Hitch wanted to make her a star.
So I would suggest watching the film with an open mind. Especially if you have read some of the reviews that I did. If you are a Hitchcock fan this is a no-brainer. You will love the behind the scenes take on Mr.Hitchcock and his wife. And just how many drinks did he have during the film? The best scene in the film for me is almost at the very end. When the crowd is watching his finished masterpiece. He listens outside the door and conducts the screams like the maestro that he was. Enjoy