Pitched as a love story between the famed director and
his wife Alma, Hitchcock makes no bones about exercising a wee
bit of poetic licence.
Focusing on a small but pivotal episode in Alfred Hitchcock's
life, director Sacha Gervasi has crafted a well-rounded tale
(excuse the pun) that might frustrate anyone seeking further
insight into the scurrilous legends associated with the big
Centring on the fraught but key relationship between
''Hitch'' (Anthony Hopkins) and Alma (Helen Mirren), Gervasi
certainly plays to the strongest cards in his hand. Taking up
with their relationship following the fanfare for North By
Northwest, it's Hitchcock's choice of material for his next
film, Psycho, that alienates him from even his most ardent
This is where the strengths of Alma as a partner, confidante
and editor come to the fore. Able to turn a blind eye to
Hitchcock's lecherous affection for his leading ladies, it's
her amusing jibes at Hitch's ''corpulent'' stature that show
a dynamic in the relationship seldom focused on in many
historical accounts of Hitchcock's life.
Even plumped up in a fat-suit, Anthony Hopkins doesn't bear a
great resemblance to Hitchcock but when it comes to comedic
timing and exaggerated mannerisms he is spot-on. Mirren, too,
is her usual riveting self, bringing a warmth and humility to
her role as the thankless shadow whose own writing skills are
sacrificed to her full-time role taming the incorrigible
Best thing: The quirky chemistry between Mirren and
Worst thing: Occasional forays into soap-opera land.
See it with: Anyone who has seen Psycho.
Director: Sacha Gervasi
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett
Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, James
D'Arcy, Michael Wincott.
3 stars (out of 5)
By Mark Orton.