Friday, November 30, 2012

Hitchcock / The Girl

Good Eeeevening.  I think it's safe to say that pretty much all film buffs admire Alfred Hitchcock, the original master of suspense.  With an extremely prolific career, having directed over 50 films, many of which involve murder, and with all the biggest names of classic Hollywood, he stands out as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.  Not to mention his iconic voice, shape, and demeanor.  He was truly a larger than life character.  It's somewhat shocking that this is the first big screen feature film about him.  And furthermore, it isn't even a true biopic.  The film only spans 1959 to 1960, focused primarily on Hitchcock's struggle to make arguably his most memorable film, 'Psycho'.  Anthony Hopkins stars, Helen Mirren plays his wife, and Scarlet Johansen and Jessica Biel play 'Psycho' cast members Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, respectively.

Hitchcock fans (like myself) will surely enjoy it for a behind the scenes look at the master and one of his masterpieces.  But, like many films of late based on actual historical legends, it's more likely to be an award nominee than a large scale crowd pleaser.

Grade: B+

Hard core Hitchcock fans can make it a double feature and follow up with HBO's 'The Girl' which basically picks up where this one leaves off.  This time Toby Jones plays the lead, in a significantly less flattering light, as he creepily lusts after blonde model-turned-actress Tippi Hedron (as played by Sienna Miller) in 'The Birds' and 'Marnie'.  Whereas 'Hitchcock' is at least primarily focused on the struggle to make a film, 'The Girl' is more about Hitchcock's issues with women and obsession with attractive young blondes.  It's much more of a scandalous tell-all smear than an homage to a great filmmaker.  Interesting, but a lot less classy.

Grade: B-

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