Saturday, April 20, 2013

A droll Anthony Hopkins is "Hitchcock"

By Steve Evans

Saw "Hitchcock" last night with Anthony Hopkins in the title role (and wearing a fat suit), and Helen Mirren as the director's wife Alma. Better than I would have expected, although it sugarcoats many aspects of the director's persona and obfuscates others. Fans of Donald Spoto's biography will probably be disappointed. Those who've read the more recent Hitch bio by Patrick McGilligan may view the film as a benign and more-or-less accurate depiction of the Master of Suspense.

 of the picture centers on the challenges Hitchcock faced in making his most famous, if not his greatest, film: Psycho. As a recreation of a specific time and place (1959 Los Angeles) it is well worth a looky. Hopkins' performance is mostly spot-on, although Scarlett Johannson is more convincing as Janet Leigh and James D'Arcy acts like Anthony Perkins reincarnated.

The script was inspired by Stephen Rebello's excellent book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (Dembner, 1990).

"Hitchcock" is not without flaws; I felt it could have probed deeper into the man's psyche, especially with the resources of a great actor like Hopkins. But even though it "underperformed" at the box office late last year, the film should find its target audience on home video.

"Hitchcock" would make a great double-feature with Psycho, and you'd best believe I mean the original; not Gus Van Sant's execrable remake from '98.

Cinema Uprising copyright © 2013 by Steve Evans. All rights reserved.

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