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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hitchcock (2012)

After the enormous critical and box office success of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is determined to film PSYCHO as his next movie. But everyone around him sees the material as tawdry and beneath him, not to mention the sex and violence are more than the censors have ever allowed in an American film. How will and will he get away with it? Based on the nonfiction book ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE MAKING OF PSYCHO by Stephen Rebello, for the most part the movie plays out like a film buff's dream. But it's compromised by two things. The first is that Universal owns the rights to PSYCHO (this is a Fox film) and will not allow recreations of scenes from PSYCHO so that severely limits the actual filming sequences, notably the shower scene with Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson). The other thing is that the film makers, perhaps justifiably, seems to have reasoned that mainstream audiences would be bored with a movie about making a movie so they've added a subplot involving Alma Reville, Mrs. Hitchcock (Helen Mirren) and her relationship with a screenwriter (Danny Huston) that Hitchcock suspects is an affair. This segment drags the film down. Other than that, it's quite entertaining with generous doses of dark humor (as any film about Hitchcock should be). Directed by Sacha Gervasi with Danny Elfman's score channeling Bernard Herrmann. With Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Toni Collette, Ralph Macchio and Michael Wincott as serial killer Ed Gein, the inspiration for PSYCHO.

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