The Film Fatales ruin their manicures due to nail-biting suspense.
Hitchcock. NOW ON DEMAND & ON DVD. 2012. Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson. Directed by Sacha Gervasi.
A love story between influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho in 1959. [imdb]
elizabeth: You know when you go out and have a really spectacular meal with close friends or you are kissed by someone who knows what they are doing that the feeling stays with you and you just want to keep revisiting it? Well, Hitchcock was like a kiss on my lips and I felt full and satisfied when the credits started to roll. I got to say that this is one of the best movies made in 2012 – a movie that did not get its due. I apologize to director Sacha Gervasi for not going to see it in the theatre. My bad.
Nicole: Oh-oh. We’re going to come to blows over this one, aren’t we? (Finally, I’ve been waiting to get into fisticuffs with you.) While I liked the movie in part, I couldn’t help being distracted by some questionable creative decisions. But I’ll let you digress before I really tear into it.
elizabeth: What a terrific cast. Anthony Hopkins was unrecognizable as famed director Alfred Hitchcock and there was such great on-screen chemistry with his wife Alma Reville, who was portrayed brilliantly by Helen Mirren. Can this woman ever do a bad movie? And this was a well-written and witty movie that elevated the viewer and never insulted our intelligence.
Nicole: OK, I will relent that the casting (aside from Scarlet Johansson as a very unconvincing Janet Leigh) was well done. But hands down, the best thing about this movie was Helen Mirren. Best scene in the movie is when she gives him his comeuppance (and I do hope that actually happened, word for word).
elizabeth: There was quite a bit on Hitchcock’s fantasy life on the screen and I felt that just made him appear more vulnerable, flawed and maybe a little more likable. He was the boy who never gets the girl. But let me just say that if I was on the set and he came over to me, I would have hit him with a shovel. The Creep Meter kept going off in my head.
Nicole: Ah, you’ve touched upon one of the things that irked me. Hitchcock’s obsession with his blonde leading ladies is the stuff of notorious Hollywood legends – well, more fact than legend according to many tell-all autobiographies. And save for the filming of the shower scene, I don’t think the movie accurately portrayed his crazed obsession and anger management issues. I also don’t think the relationship between Hitch and Alma was accurate – they didn’t like each other nearly as much as this film portrayed. From what I understand, their relationship was more in keeping with the portrayal seen in HBO’s The Girl, starring Sienna Miller. You want creep factor – I grew to hate Hitchcock as a person after seeing that movie, which was difficult considering how Rear Window is in my Top 5 films ever made.
One final note on the script: I felt the scenes in which Hitchcock was channeling the book version of Psycho were uninspired and forced. I think the time could have been better spent on the cutting room floor.
elizabeth: Visually, this was a beautiful film that was having a love affair with the 1950s. You saw people walking around all dressed up with a cigarette in their hands and not an iPhone. Women wore stockings – well, I never liked that. Too much work. And, it was fun to see how the movie Psycho got made back in the dark ages…and how one of the Film Fatales will be checking behind the shower curtains once again.
Nicole: Yea, yea. So, meet me out in the parking lot at 3pm sharp for a throw-down. It’s on.