Maksim's Review of Hitchcock
Smart, stylish and entertaining, Hitchcock is an impressive biopic of Alfred Hitchcock, focused on the time of the production of Psycho. Divided between the making of his greatest classic and the depiction of his personal life, this movie may not delve into Hitchcock's mind as deep as some would have expected, but it fully compensates with splendid performances, catchy, raw humor and an engaging story.
The story depicts a small part of Hitchcok's life, namely, the period during the shooting of Psycho. The struggles of its director, his personal relationship with Alma Reville, his obsession with blond leading actresses and his crude humor are wonderfully described by director Sacha Gervasi. The dramatic load is at a decent level as well, and the audience gets immediately involved in the challenge taken by Hitch, at the moment when he goes "all in" for the making of Psycho. The production, financial and personal struggle of Hitchcock deliver a smooth passing of the one hundred minutes of Sacha Gervasi's movie. The entertainment is secured, but those more interested in Htich's personality would possibly be slightly disappointed. The movie is torn between depicting the shootings and the dramatic, but truly romantic, relationships between Alfred and Alma Reville. Director Gervasi finds himself in the middle of those two possible movie developments and never chooses for one of them.
Unfortunately, the inability to focus either on Hitchcock's personal life during the shootings, or solely on the shootings, deprive the audience from seeing more of Alfred's character. His obsessions, his character, his feelings towards Alma could have been a much bigger part of the movie. There is no doubt that Anthony Hopkins' performance is brilliant (and of his best in years) and that Helen Mirror's performance as Alma Reville brings a much deserved recognition of Alma's true contributions to Hitchcock's works. Both of them succeed to partially compensate for Gervasi's indecisiveness and to give the audience a chance to really enjoy this movie.
In conclusion, Hitchcock is definitely a formidable drama, which would please those searching for outstanding performances, intriguing story and realistic cinematography. It could have become a real classic if it had been more focused on only one of the two main subjects, but nevertheless it is surely a movie worth checking it !