Hitchcock #2For me he’s probably one of the best film directors that ever lived. Why? Because he knew how to tell a story. Not just script but camera angle, lens, music, casting etc etc…  In an industry which can often resemble a conveyor belt production line, often at the insistence of the producers (who , despite their own opinion, rarely have an artisitic bone in their body) it is a rare moment when a director has not only the auteured vision for his project, but the balls to stand up and get his way, regardless of what the producers think. And in this film, despite being at the top of his game, Hitchcock even has to put his money where his mouth is and fund the new film, Psycho, himself. And that’s to say nothing of the headaches he receives from the censors!

Psycho, of course, became arguably his seminal work which, as you can imagine given his legendary repertoire of work, is no mean achievement. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma. It chronicles the making of Psycho and the ‘soap-opera’ behind the scenes life. The movie also contains a parallel, psychological theme as Hitchcock “hangs out” (albeit symbolically rather than literally) with the tormented mind of serial-killer Ed Gein (Michael Wincott) the real-life inspiration for the original book. It also depicts how personal parts of his life may have contributed to the film, such as the peephole used by Norman Bates and using his fresh temper (thinking his wife was having an affair) to help frighten Janet Leigh in the shower scene. And was it just me or did Janet Leighs dressing room resemble the films notorious motel room?

Hitchcock #3The make-up department surely deserve a mention for Hopkins transformation. However, Hopkins’ voice lets him down occasionally – some scenes he nails it but there are moments when it’s Hopkins not Hitch speaking, which is a shame. Mirren is good in her role, but the whole film is fairly mild and never really permeates the dark depths that one would imagine making a film such as Psycho. Personally, I can forgive this and when half the film is set on a the movie set it’s like the dream-back-stage-pass! Bernard Hermann’s eerie themes makes a cameo appearance in the underscore and at one point one can hear the haunting echo of the word…”McGuffin!” For a Hitch fan like myself, it’s heaven!


Posted in 2013, BAFTA's 2013, Oscar's 2013 | Leave a comment

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