Meet Hitch. Hold the cock.
As an autodidactic cineast I can safely proclaim to entertain a morbid love affair with Mr. Hitchcock. He happens to remain one of the most well loved and remembered British film directors of all time—sort of...
Hitchcock directed nearly 70 films in a prolific career spanning five decades. He is most well known as a horror enthusiast by the general public for The Birds, Rear Window, North By Northwest, Vertigo, Rope, Dial M For Murder and of course, Psycho. Students of film with be familiar with his earlier work that is oft praised like The Lady Vanishes, Strangers On A Train, Shadow Of A Doubt, Spellbound, Notorious and The 39 Steps to name a few. Personally, I am a fan, albeit scattered. I have viewed 35 of his works and am happy to stop there. In my view, The Master of Suspense really doesn't hold up all that well except, of course, for a handful of masterpieces, aforementioned and a number of indelible sequences.
I cannot verify the truthfulness of this new film. I can only presume that the caricatures put forth are based on seeming fact and that the period was represented with the upmost detail and verisimilitude. It felt about right. Yet, this movie is intentionally playful and hyperbolized. The double narrative follows the doppelgänger of Hitch's psyche with pleasing but not utterly satisfying results. Helen Mirren and the great Anthony Hopkins steal the show. Both superb. The rest of the cast was properly chosen as well. Ever since A Serious Man, Michael Stuhlbarg shows up everywhere. I shall not complain.
There are enough references to the bizarre obsessions of Hitch to keep fans happy but nothing too new or novel. He liked birds, blondes and bloody deaths. Earlier this year Tobey Jones also characterized Hitchcock in the HBO film, The Girl. It may as well be the sequel to this movie, however, it was a much darker look at his inappropriate advances toward Tippi Hedren and his sometimes abject, loathsome nature as director. Apparently, if two movies are going to be released about the same character in the same year, just call in Tobey Jones for the independent version, as evidenced in Truman Capote. :)
It may be said that I have underestimated Hitchcock's multitudinous gifts of manipulation, voyeurism, suspense, shock and devious surprise. To that end, perhaps it is possible that we all still quiver in his ever looming shadow—that most famous of all profiles—the corpulent, witty, irascible genius, Alfred Hitchcock.
Recommended Viewing: Rebecca - Shadow Of A Doubt - Marnie - Lifeboat
Bob Scale: The Critic: 6.9 - The Fan: 7.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 67