Who directed When Harry met Sally, The Black Swan and Grease? Rob Reiner, Darren Aronofsky and Randal Kleiser are the masters behind these big successes, whose names are probably unfamiliar to most people. We tend to only remember the names of those actors whose faces are irreversibly tied to the memories of the images. The directors, who often develop the story, are responsible for the entire staging of the film, direct the play of the actors and often oversee the editing, are regularly overlooked.
It’s even more impressive that the entire world knows Alfred Hitchcock. The Master of Suspense (the tension building from the audiences advantage in knowledge over the characters, i.E. that a bomb is ticking underneath the table of the unknowing dinner guests) is known around the globe, his films are loved and highly respected as masterpieces of the art of film. Much has been written about The Birds, Rear Window or Psycho, Truffaut’s interview-book Alfred Hitchcock: A Definitive Study is a classic for all film students and a discovery tour through his work and now there is finally a Biopic about the workaholic.
Hitchcock accompanies Alfred (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) in the time of the difficult production to Hitchcock’s greatest success Psycho. Although Hitchcock was a renowned director at the time Paramount Pictures didn’t want to produce the film. The topic seemed too risky, the boss was afraid to loose his money and thus the studio refused to fund the production. But Hitchcock had his mind set on the story, could probably see the images before him already and simply decided to fund the film himself. House and pool were, just as pride and honour on the line. Though not just for Alfred, but for Alma just as well. And she is the focal point of this story. The woman at Hitch’s (this was his preferred name) side wasn’t just his caring wife, but also his advisor in all things movie. She discusses the plots with him, reads scripts, rates first edits, gives impulses and even prevailed when it came to selecting music for the famous shower scene in Psycho.
Hitchcock is a nice film, it doesn’t open up new worlds, perspectives or makes one leave the cinema with great new insights, but it does let the audience escape to Hitchcock’s world for 98 minutes and in times of the cinemas in crisis I suppose that is all we can expect from a big Hollywood production.
Hitchcock (D: Sacha Gervais, USA 2012)