Hitchcock 3/4 : a film review by James Berardinelli

January 10, 2013 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Hitchcock could be construed as a misleading title for this motion picture. A better name might have been The Making of Psycho, although that might have led to confusion with a DVD supplemental feature…writes James Berardinelli.

Director Sacha Gervasi’s film looks at the life of The Master of Suspense through the prism of his struggles to make, market, and sell what would become his most popular thriller, Psycho. The film takes some liberties with established Hitchcock lore but is faithful enough to the known facts to provide a reasonably accurate portrayal of a man who has become iconic not only for the movies he directed but for his dour, immediately recognizable persona.

Hitchcock begins with the successful opening of North by Northwest and concludes after Psycho has been hailed as the filmmaker’s most popularly successful endeavor. In between, it follows Hitchcock as he struggles to raise the budget for Psycho; spars with studio executives, actors, and censors; suspects his long-suffering wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), of an affair with two-bit writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston); and worries that he’s going to lose everything after going so far out on a financial limb. Along the way, we get a fly-on-the-wall perspective of how Psycho was made, including a behind-the-scenes perspective of the shower scene.

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