The Kidd Vs. HITCHCOCK
If you’re looking for some in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the inner workings of Alfred Hitchock’s creative genius during the process of making PSYCHO, you’re not really going to get it from Sacha Gervasi’s sanitized biopic of sorts, HITCHCOCK. What you will get though is a delightfully fun and entertaining examination of the legendary director’s relationship with wife Alma Reville during the period of the film’s production and how the dark places Hitchcock’s mind would have to go in telling PSYCHO’s story credibly would steer his own sense of paranoia about Alma’s dealings with other Hollywood players. It’s as if the making of PSYCHO only serves as a backdrop for this tumultuous period in their marriage , which is rather unfortunate, because as good as it is to watch Sir Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren play off each other in their respective roles, it would have been a bit more rewarding to witness how PSYCHO managed to come together as the classic it’s regarded to be, as the obstacles and pressure mounted against it even being made at the time.
Coming off the success of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, naturally Hollywood wants more of the same from Alfred Hitchcock, even if after 46 pictures, you’d think he’d have earned the right to explore his storytelling and filmmaking ability by doing something different. By different, he doesn’t mean THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK or CASINO ROYALE, films he passed on because… well, is there anything about either of those two properties that screams Hitchcock. He wants something that will challenge him and that audiences will never see coming from him, ultimately settling on the choice to adapt Robert Bloch’s novel that was loosely based on the serial killer Ed Gein. Hitchcock is energized by what could come from a director as good as he making a horror picture such as this, going so far as to even having all copies of Bloch’s book bought up off the shelves, not wanting any part of the film’s twists and turns to be revealed to the audience before they see it up on his screen. PSYCHO is his chance to feel free as an auteur again, instilling passion once more in his career, which is constantly being questioned by outsiders as if the man may have suddenly run out of good films to make, coming off one of the best in his catalog.
After absorbing incredible risk in a creative deal with Paramount to make the picture, HITCHCOCK only scratches the surface of the film’s actual making, breezing through the casting process in favor of Hopkins having imaginary conversations with a visualization of Ed Gein himself (Michael Wincott) as he begins to explore his own darkness as it relates to Alma, his sudden distrust of her and his belief that she may be unfaithful to him at the moment when he needs her support the most. Then again, what more can you expect from a film that absolutely flies by with a 98-minute running time? There’s just not enough time given to the story period, let alone some of its more intriguing aspects, such as Hitchcock’s feelings of betrayal by all the women in his life, especially Vera Miles (Jessica Biel, whose role is really underdeveloped in its greater importance to Hitchcock’s career). The amount of PSYCHO is truly lacking in HITCHCOCK to make any type of grandiose statement about the film’s place in history, which really should have been more of a focus of the film. But the witty and playfiul back and forth between Hopkins and Mirren who are absolutely fantastic together to save the movie from becoming a parody of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO process and shifting more towards an overall celebration of what it meant for his career that late in the game (Hitchcock would only go on to make six more films following PSYCHO), signifying that not only did he still have it, but he might actually be better than ever.
HITCHCOCK has the feel of an HBO film, although its style trumps its overall substance. The performances here are stellar with Toni Collette and Michael Stuhlbarg giving wonderful supporting turns as Peggy Robertson, Hitchcock’s trusted production assistant, and Lew Wasserman, his agent. And while I would have liked to learn something new about Hitchcock the director from his making of PSYCHO, HITCHCOCK brings about a bit more knowledge about Hitchcock the man and Alma Reville the woman. It’s not exactly the suspense of the trials and tribulations of the filmmaking business I would have preferred, but the fun quotient of watching the talented Hopkins and Mirren embody their historic counterparts makes HITCHCOCK light fare worth watching.
"The Infamous Billy The Kidd"
Follow me on Twitter.
Like me on Facebook.
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Nov. 21, 2012, 1:53 a.m. CST
Would be my first
Nov. 21, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST
by sam jacksons wig
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:47 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST
Take that, BCS!
Nov. 21, 2012, 3:02 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 4 a.m. CST
I saw this at an industry screening the other night. You said it yourself--the making of Psycho is the backdrop to the story of Hitchcock & Alma. That *IS* the point. I can watch Psycho any time I want. I can read about Hitchcock and the making of the film any time I want. But this film beautifully brings to life the incredibly conflicted yet sweet relationship between these two artists and makes it clear that she was as much a part of his greatness as his own genius was. It's a very human love story that simultaneously upholds and demystifies Hitchcock's legendary reputation. If you took anything else away from this film, or if it left you wanting something else--well, that's too bad. Maybe you'll be better off with Gus Van Sant's forthcoming shot for shot remake. In the meantime, this movie was excellent and not lacking in any way.
Nov. 21, 2012, 4:33 a.m. CST
by Mr Soze
I like boobies.
Nov. 21, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 6:19 a.m. CST
by Righteous Brother
Nov. 21, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 6:38 a.m. CST
by Raymond Shaw
"...GusVan Sant's forthcoming remake" ????
Nov. 21, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST
by Joe Cranford
Yes, this will be a movie.
Nov. 21, 2012, 8:27 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
Nov. 21, 2012, 8:46 a.m. CST
It implies that the movie and the reviewer are going back and forth in some kind of verbal (or physical conflict). This is impossible- a movie is a static thing. The other implication is that you are comparing yourself to a movie, which you are clearly not. Please stop using this. It makes you look stupid.
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST
When will we get the first movie about the making of a making of movie?
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST
I´d definetly buy a ticket to see The making of the making of The Shinning. I mean, who wouldn't? The behind the scenes of the behind the scenes of a Kubrick movie? Come on!!!
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST
by Stifler's Mom
THE GIRL made Hitch look like an obsessive, quasi-perverted creed. And Hopkins will have a hard time living up to Toby Jones, who was incredible in the part, whether it was truthful or not.
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST
Too recognizable... It would've need an unknown in the part to have me believe it was Hitchcock... Instead, you're left watching "The Hopkins Acting Method" for two hours. Also, do we need to see him playing every historic icons that ever lived? Picasso, Hemingway (coming next), Nixon, Hitler, John Quincy Adams, Hitchcock, etc... Give us a break! Nothing against him personnaly, but I just don't buy him in any "known" role anymore. I just see Anthony Hopkins.
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST
Ultratron, haven't you ever hear of the Proclamation of Emancipation? Ultratron: "No, I don't listen to hip hop."
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST
of Scarlett Johansson, until now!!!
Nov. 21, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST
...It’s as if the making of PSYCHO only serves as a backdrop for this tumultuous period in their marriage...
Nov. 21, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST
by Jack Desmondi
Your endless all caps posts and "fact" only display what a low level mommy's basement loser you truly are.
Nov. 21, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST
That's the name of the book this movie is supposedly based on, which is why Kidd may have a valid point. Having read the book myself, there's a lot of juicy stuff that would've made for an interesting exploration of Hitch's motives and psyche. It seems they took a significant detour in the screenplay, and the result may be a decent film, but not one that took full advantage of the source material.
Nov. 21, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST
It's just not a primary focus of the book. There is definitely some inclusion of her input and influence, but I can't recall much about it being a tumultuous period in particular. Most Hitchcock fans are aware of his crushes on his leading ladies, and Alma seems to have been tolerant of that, to say the least.
Nov. 21, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST
If it had more Tatum, of course.
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST
...it's a joke. If you don't get it, look up "Gus Van Sant Psycho Remake"
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST
Nada pally, you? Hopin' they break a new Star Wars rumor, conjecture, conspiracy, speculation story today (hasn't been one since yesterday, what gives?)
Nov. 21, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST
oh the irony.
Nov. 21, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST
by Brodie Watson
he is either lukewarm or hates something, he never gushes praise. I fucking hate his reviews. It must come from being slapped around in film school and told he wouldn't amount to anything.
Nov. 21, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:22 p.m. CST
What happened to all the movie reviewers on this site? The main reason I come here is for the reviews. Nobody does jack shit anymore but Kidd. Tons of movies out lately and we get one or two sporadic reviews.
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST
by Fries Against
Nov. 21, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST
by Queefer Sutherland
Pump her full of inspiration.
Nov. 22, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST
Nov. 22, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST
and probably hasnt seen one of his films....let alone psycho i weep for our future
Nov. 24, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST
Found this. http://talkradiox.com/node/18204
- First look at footage from Genndy Tartakovsky's POPEYE! -- 164 total posts 64 posts
- Rejoice! DEADPOOL: THE MOVIE comin' to you in February 2016!! -- 167 total posts 30 posts
- Josh Trank's FANTASTIC FOUR gets pushed back nearly two months, and knocks ASSASSIN'S CREED off the calendar! -- 112 total posts 21 posts
- Guy Ritchie brings a mermaid onto land to play his Guinevere in KNIGHTS OF THE ROUNDTABLE: KING ARTHUR! -- 77 total posts 21 posts
- Here’s A Video Of STAR WARS EPISODE VII’s Millennium Falcon, Highlighting One Little Detail… -- 423 total posts 12 posts
- Another New (And Rather Cool) INTERSTELLAR Poster!! -- 203 total posts 8 posts
- Copernicus is really pissed about the Stephen Hawking biopic THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING that he saw at TIFF -- 166 total posts 7 posts
- Muldoon Happily Gets Lost in THE MAZE RUNNER! -- 35 total posts 7 posts
- This Poster For INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 Is Creepy And Requires Reading!! -- 65 total posts 5 posts
- Quint is surprisingly quite fond of Kevin Smith's TUSK! Fantastic Fest 2014! -- 5 total posts 5 posts