Alfred Hitchcock is one of those people who while being a great director was also a character larger than life and so bringing him to the big screen is no mean feat but  Anthony Hopkins does a pretty good job, he (thanks to prosthetics) looks remarkably like him and has a great deal of his mannerisms down to a tee. The film itself focuses on the period where Hitch had already made most of his films and is looking for a project to fire up his tired creativity. This comes along in form of Psycho, a film that as the story goes, no studio would touch. We join the master of suspense as he and long suffering partner (a role played with stiff upper-lip by Helen Mirren) as they try to self-finance the film and get it distributed against increased adversity. But choosing to focus on such a short snippet of such an interesting and diverse career leaves more questions unanswered, the film hints at the man but never really gets under his skin. Scarlett Johansson is surprisingly good as Janet leigh as is James D’arcy in his brief turn as Anthony Perkins but elsewhere no other characters really matter to the overall story. Fans may also be upset by the films portrayal of Hitchcock as a sadistic misogynist and debate aside it does make him out to be quite unlikable in many ways. So it all begs the question who was this film was actually made for? It won’t win over any new fans and existing ones may be put off by the tarnishing of Hitch’s personality and as far as the story of the making of Psycho goes I’m not sure that even half the film is entirely accurate. Hopkins performance alone is not enough to drag this film away from the fact it could have been made for television and as a cinema release it is sadly a bit of a let-down.


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