HITCHCOCK (Sacha Gervasi, 2013)
One thing better about watching a great movie, is watching a movie about the creation of that great movie, and in Sacha Gervasi's HITCHCOCK which sees the tumultuous birth of PSYCHO, we are along for the bittersweet, often sarcastic but always fascinating journey of Hitch and his wife Alma Reville as they pushed to have PSYCHO made and released while trying not to fall apart as husband and wife.
Anthony Hopkins (in a performance clearly robbed of an Oscar) is magnetic as Hitchcock, who is so deep in his performance he becomes Hitch himself. Every mannerism, stride, and even the voice is imitated, or rather portrayed with precise quality. Equally of caliber here is Helen Mirren who plays Alma Reville, with balls of steel and guts and wits to match that of her onscreen husband who is usually stealing the spotlight.
What HITCHCOCK ultimately achieves is a throwback to the age of Hollywood when Hitch's films existed, and every love for the material, and for the period is honestly felt in the production design, music, and the hairstyles and costumes of the actors. Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins are instantly believable even just at first glance, while Michael Wincott who is no stranger to portraying deranged characters onscreen is menacing as Ed Gein, the real-life killer who inspired PSYCHO.
Indeed the journey from script to screen is one hell of a thrill ride, from Hitch and Alma debating casting choices and scene treatment, to their almost marital breakdown, to a visit to the censors (which Hitch refers to as worse than a visit to the dentist), and to the nerve-wracking premiere of PSYCHO, which we all know involved Hitch requiring all theater owners not to admit latecomers, due to the early plot twist in his movie.
Through HITCHCOCK, we are given more light on the eccentricity of one of the world's greatest auteurs, and director Sacha Gervasi presents the film with every bit of love for the movies and the way it's evolved over time. The film addresses Hitch's relevance in the history of cinema, and reminds us the power of movies to infect us with ideas and emotions, as well as the hardworking people who made them possible.