There’s not much in Hollywood that’s sacred, but for film enthusiasts, Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho has had a tough legacy with cheap sequels and a remake that didn’t measure up, so it is a wonderful relief to find that Hitchcock, the narrative about the creation of the film and the lives of Alfred and his wife Alma Hitchcock, who are portrayed masterfully by Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, gives the creators and the film itself some of the respect they most certainly deserve.
As a film teacher, I’ve taught Psycho 4-5 times a year for over 15 years, so I’m especially aware of every nuance of its fascinating back-story and production and it’s terrific to see the attention to detail from director Sacha Gervasi and screenwriter John McLaughlin. What really makes the film successful is the complex love story between Hitchcock and his wife, which is played out in the film much like a Hitchcock thriller itself and balanced with great humor and English wit. The film also includes some of the horrific acts of Ed Gein, the twisted killer who inspired Psycho, in interesting ways and occasionally breaks the forth wall as Hitchcock himself did in his famous television show. The film has a wonderful cast and the layered plot appeals both to hardcore film buffs and those who might not know who Hitchcock was, while the film itself has a good chance of receiving that symbol of praise to which Mr. Hitchcock was consistently denied throughout his career, the Oscar.
HITCHCOCK is now in select theaters and opens nationwide this December.