Today’s screening was an another example of low expectations/high reward. I went into “Hitchcock” having read some not-so-hot reviews and figured the movie would be worth seeing just for the performances of Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, who never disappoint.
It turns out the film itself was the ideal entertainment for a rainy Sunday in Santa Barbara. It doesn’t put the great director on a pedestal, nor does it focus on Hitchcock as the perv director who only lusts after blondes, as the HBO movie did. Instead, it depicts a period in Hitchcock’s life – at age 60 – when he was looking for another project to direct, to prove to Hollywood he wasn’t “over,” and decided on “Psycho,” a horror movie no one wanted him to make.
We go behind the scenes of the shooting of “Psycho,” the marketing of it, and the demons it brought out in Hitchcock. We also get an up-close story of his long marriage to and partnership with his wife, Alma. As brilliantly played by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, these two are people you come to care about. And watching two Oscar winners go at it is always fun. Scarlett Johansson is a pitch-perfect Janet Leigh (even daughter Jamie Lee thought so, according to the movie’s director, who was full of interesting stories during the Q&A and reception) and the actor who plays Tony Perkins is a dead ringer for the real thing.
I really did have a good time at this one.