The Girl especially is an interesting case. The film which stars Toby Jones (Infamous) as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren chronicles their turbulent relationship during the filming the two movies they made together-- The Birds and Marnie. There's an old school adage that certainly rings true that Hitch discovered Hedren, a successful model, while watching a commercial featuring her. He chose her to come in for The Birds. He primped and trained the neophyte actress, molding her to become the next Grace Kelly. That's certainly stuff that's been well documented and considering Hitch's longtime regard for the then Princess of Monaco, a certain high compliment for the newcomer Hedren. The film, based on conjecture, stories told by Hedren, and who knows what else paint a tawdry portrait of Hitchcock. One that not just feels false but particularly pathetic. Jones, who matches the cadences and posture of filmmaker quite well is posited as a grotesque, nearly gargoyle-like creature. He's filmed as nearly a demented, sadistic toad, obsessing on the women he certainly could never have-- Imelda Staunton provides her usual finesse as Hitch's long-suffering wife Alma.
After molding Hedren into a movie star, Hitchcock, as seen through the shallow, flat prism of The Girl, is seen a beast. Whether through the telling of off-color limericks to Hedren, or falsely presenting scenes of The Birds. There's an ugly re-telling of a famous attack scene where Hitchcock forced Hedren to endure five days of being bombarded by live birds, after being assured that only mechanical birds and post production special effects would be used to for the shooting. There's certainly evidence that occurred, with the exception of the behind the scenes drama. The question that The Girl fails to really respond to, is why Hedren put up with it the first place. Why she continued work with a man who seemingly punished her for not accepting his sexual passes. Why she stayed afloat, with a brave, victim-like expression on her face when she felt so unhappy and marginalized. Whatever speculation of the Hitchcock\Hedren relationship will forever remain a mystery, since only one side can truly ever be explored, but The Girl seems to disingenuously present Hitch as such a loathsome cad, that it reeks of caricature, and is completely bereft of humanity on either side. Hedren is presented rather dully, and Miller's nonchalant portrayal lacks clear definition or insight. One wonders what counterpoints past Hitchcock blondes Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Janet Leigh or Kim Novack might provide on the subject.
The Girl even fails on the seemingly easy-get on the fun it should have in recreating some of the classic moments of The Birds and Marnie, foregoing the simple revelry of old school Hollywood glee in favor of unsightly and broadly drawn melodrama. F