I of course have seen 'Psycho' and the subsequent sequels (as you should know if you read my Facebook page).
But I didn't know much about Alfred Hitchcock's personal life, I knew the basics. A man of talent, quite sociopathic, and of course a perverse master of suspense.
So going in blind gave me a nice view of how human he was. Imagine seeing a biography on Stanley Kubrick and seeing that he is actually a really down to earth nice guy. That's how I felt with watching 'Hitchcock'. Just with Hitchcock and not Kubrick of course.
Anyway let me get to the film....
We begin with the serial killer Ed Gein killing his brother with a shovel to the head.
We then pan across to our dear Alfred Hitchcock. He introduces himself and the story of Ed Gein (who is probably the most prolific serial killer for inspiring fictional stories) and how his film 'Psycho' came along.
The film then truly begins.
As we see Hitchcock going through the process of making his next big film, we also see the many times that Paramount didn't want 'Psycho' but how everyone wanted Hitchcock to adapt their works. We have a sub-plot of Hitch (That's what he liked to be called apparently) being nervous his wife is ready to wander from their marriage. And then of course Alfred's magical fantasies, the one of Janet Leigh and past actresses he had worked with then on top his constant dreams of Ed Gein and himself having conversations with one another.
The pacing sticks all the way throughout and really draws you in. I had a few loud laughs and toward the end a few teary eyed moments. Considering this was based on a book about Hitchcock working on Psycho, sometimes it astounds you to remember this was a very much true story. Fair enough obviously not word by word nor action by action but the main events of the film really happened.
The actors also definitely helped with the enjoyment and emotion factor.
Anthony as Hitchcock was great. The only problem I had was I believed he spoke with too much mouth. You'll see what I mean. It's a close impersonation of Hitchcock and obviously nobody will ever get it perfect but Hopkins did a damn fine job, I just wished that at some point he spoke a bit more normal. Helen Mirren as his wife Alma brought out much of the emotion needed from the film and she played the part perfectly of a woman in love but jealous with the attention her husbands actresses get that she doesn't.
Then of course the actors and actresses of 'Psycho' also played a big part.
Originally for the role of Anthony Perkins who played the crazed Norman Bates was Andrew Garfield. Yes that is the new Spider-man and yes I'm glad he didn't do this film as James D'arcy who did get the job actually looked like a young Anthony Perkins. Unfortunately who we didn't see much of.
At first I really didn't take to her playing Leigh as she didn't look right in the slightest. Eventually though I accepted her as her acting seemed to get better and she started to look a little more the right part.
And Jessica Biel as Vera Miles who played Marion's sister Lila.
Surprisingly even though Lila was technically the main character of 'Psycho' you didn't care for her as much as you did for Marion or Norman.
Most likely due to the shower scene (which is mentioned a lot in 'Hitchcock') and also the mystery of Normans Mother.
So I just accepted Biel up right as I wasn't bothered if she fit the part. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn't. I can't really say any more.
So even though there were a few mistakes here and there, it's going to happen.
It was an excellent biography into Alfred Hitchcock's life and gives the man much more character than what you ever originally thought him to be like. It's like I already mentioned, I laughed and cried.
Even though not necessarily needed, I hoped it had more about the actual film 'Psycho' and more of Anthony Perkins etc..
Obviously though it focused more on Hitchcock and his shadow. Oh yeah I forgot to mention the iconic silhouette is in there a few times.
Definitely worth a watch,
A firm 8 / 10 knife wounds. (Thats a good thing for this review by the way).