Behind the Psycho
Following years of great thrillers Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) finds himself with reporters suggesting that maybe he retires and makes way for the new talent. Tired of these comments as well as the studio bosses trying to limit his creativity Alfred starts to look outside of the box for his next movie which is when he stumbles across the story for Psycho. With unsurprising resistance from the studios for Hitch to do horror Hitch negotiates a deal to finance it himself something which causes stress back at home between Hitch and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren) when it comes to money and also Hitch's ways around his attractive stars. It leads to Alma taking work with an ambitious friend which causes all the more issues.
What went on behind the scenes when Alfred Hitchcock decided to make Psycho? What was he like with the women on the set and what went on in his marriage during this time? I could continue with the "What" questions as there are many questions over Hitch and what he was like as well as the actual production of "Psycho". I am not sure and no matter what has been written about Hitchcock, his marriage and his leading ladies I don't think we will ever fully know, always getting one side of the story. But it doesn't stop "Hitchcock" the movie from being thoroughly entertaining, the sort of movie which when watched once you will feel a desire to watch again even though it comes short of being a great movie.
And that is the key thing about "Hitchcock" the movie as whilst I am sure there is plenty of fact which has been written in to the script overall it is both fascinating and entertaining. From the infamous shower scene to how Vera Miles warned Janet Leigh about Hitch through to the executives disapproving of things the whole movie simply works as a cohesive drama rather than a dry biopic. And part of that is because director Sacha Gervasi has put some Hitchcock in to the movie with scenes delivered, such as driving scenes, in the master of suspense's identifiable style.
Of course with "Hitchcock" we are talking a movie about some very identifiable people and I have to hand it to Anthony Hopkins as whilst for me he looks more piggy-ish than the real Hitchcock he certainly creates the right mannerisms which is 9/10ths of the battle. It is the same elsewhere as all the actors bring a touch of the old Hollywood to the movie and it helps to make it especially when it comes to James D'Arcy whose corner of the mouth twitching nervousness made me think at times I was watching the real Anthony Perkins.
What this all boils down to is that "Hitchcock" is entertaining, an enjoyable dramatization of what may have gone on during the making of "Psycho". But if you were to watch "Hitchcock" purely as a biopic I don't think it works as well as it seems more speculative to me.