Great story behind the biggest gamble and a pinnacle of „master of suspense“ director‘s work and relations with his wife.
Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson
Budget: n.a. | Box office: 20 million
„But what if someone really good made a horror picture?“ I think I‘ll remember this phrase for a long time. It is the essence of this film about the legendary director and it was a great idea to concentrate on this not too long, bet the most important period of Hitchcock’s life and career. I can‘t pretend to imagine (although the movie does a great job of convincing) how it must have felt for director, already a living legend, to risk everything for the sakes of a horror movie. Now it might not sound serious, but then you remember the six legged octopus of Ed Wood‘s creations from around the same period and the weight of such decision becomes really clear.
Knowing that the result of this decision, Psycho, is still regarded as the best horror movie of all time, doesn‘t diminish the drama of Hitchcock. I‘m always fond of movies about movies, about people who are in front or behind the cameras, especially the latter ones. The last such great experience was My Week With Marilyn, but here you can really feel the intervention between a filmmakers work, the awful lot of struggles when doing something that is not expected, and his personal life and people surrounding him.
The idea of putting so much attention to the women in this film, especially in marketing messages, didn‘t seem right, kind of diluting from the main point. But watching Hitchcock everything comes together naturally, even the glimpses of the Psycho character coming as and advisor to director seems really fitting. The story of his long time personally and professionally supportive wife, played by Helen Mirren, and her doubts and struggles is especially connecting and heart warming. It‘s hard to imagine this was real life and not just a movie tail.
And then of course there is the man himself. From the first step into his titular film, his famous „Good evening“, till his last goodbye with a really cool added „cliffhanger“ it is just marvelous to watch the great director. Tremendous efforts from the make-up team (the skills working with pirates and fantasy world creatures can be used on real people too) and the actor‘s mastery really makes you forget about, or don‘t even recognize Anthony Hopkins.