If there was ever a director who was influential off the camera, as well as behind it, then very few would come close to the phenomenon that is Alfred Hitchcock. After decades of constant movie hits and making stars out of Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Jimmy Stewart, no one ever thought Hitchcock could do wrong. But back in the late 1950s, the studio bosses and many close to him thought he was taking the biggest risk of his life when he chose his latest project: Psycho.
Paramount Pictures thought it was unreleasable. They found it sordid and disturbing, which could’ve ultimately destroyed the British director’s well established career – until it was released in 1960 to the general public who actually thought it was his greatest masterpiece. Proving film studios really know nothing about movies. The film Hitchcock (originally titled Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho) follows the turbulent years of sourcing, financing, directing and releasing Psycho which eventually solidified Alfred Hitchcock’s status as the greatest director of all time*.
Sacha Gervasi, the writer of The Terminal and The Big Tease, co-wrote and directs his first feature and what a feature it looks to be. The first thing he got right are the main leads – Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock with Helen Mirren playing his wife Alma Reville. The tone of the movie also looks perfect, capturing 1950s America in its cinematography through Hitchcockian camera angles. The humour is playful, just like Hitchcock was: “Try the finger sandwiches,” he tells his tea party guests, “they’re real fingers.” Further highlights include Hitchcock offering to fund his own film, Hopkins posing as Hitchcock at every given moment and the set up to the infamous shower scene.
Add the supporting cast which include Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Toni Collette, Danny Huston and Kurtwood Smith – and you have quite a cast.
Hitchcock is scheduled to be released across these shores come February 8th, 2013.
*Don’t bother debating with me. You would lose. Punk.