Published: Tuesday, 18 December 2012 00:48
PG 13, 98 minutes
Review by Jana Hardy
During the filming of Psycho in 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville hit a rough patch in their relationship. This movie follows that detour. As the film opens, Alma and Hitch have been married for 30 years. She has been his supporter and collaborator on all of his projects. They met with her being his boss. She was an accomplished screenwriter herself. However, Hitch got the accolades and press. She was the mousy one in the background just off the red carpet.
Hitchcock is played by Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) and Alma is played by Helen Mirren (The Queen). The movie was directed by Sacha Gervasi. This is Gervasi's first feature, having previously directed the documentary on the heavy metal band Anvil. Hitchcock was written by John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan).
The supporting cast includes Scarlett Johansson (We Bought a Zoo) as Janet Leigh, Danny Huston (Aviator, 21 Grams) as writer Whitfield Cook, Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, The Sixth Sense) as Peggy Robertson the ever-present and trusted secretary/assistant, Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man) as Lew Wasserman, the studio head, Jessica Biel (Playing for Keeps) as Vera Miles, Kurtwood Smith (That 70's Show, Cedars Rapids) as Geoffrey Shurlock the easily fooled censor, Ralph Macchio (My Cousin Vinny) as Joseph Stefano and James D'Arcy (Cloud Atlas) as Anthony Perkins, with the shakes.
The movie depicts Leigh and Reville as over-achieving saints. It just came across as false. No one can be that perfect, even the talented Curtis. The Hopkins performance borders on caricature, horribly forced. What a waste. Collette is also wasted. Biel is forgettable. And who was Whitfield? And why should we care about him?
Gervasi, please return to docs. Features are not your forte. The final scene I predicted. Another major letdown.
And rumor has it that Mirren is being nominated for some awards. Have they lost their minds?
Out of 5, it rates a 2.