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Philadelphia Tribune (30/Oct/2012) - Hitchcock




"Hitchcock" - The man who made "Psycho" was no lightweight, though he kind of comes off that way in this portrait of Alfred Hitchcock. Starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator, Alma, the film puts a featherlight yet entertaining touch on the behind-the-scenes struggle to make the mother of all slasher films. Hitchcock's very dark side gets superficial treatment as the film offers the cinematic equivalent of psychobabble to explore the director's notorious gluttony, sexual repression and idolization of his leading ladies. Though shallow, the film has a playful quality that often makes it good fun, its spirit of whimsy a wink that director Sacha Gervasi and his team know they're riffing on Hitchcock's merrily macabre persona and not examining the man with any great depth or insight. The film centers on Hitchcock's professional and personal struggles while filming his great suspense thriller, with Scarlett Johansson and James D'Arcy offering eerie impersonations of "Psycho" costars Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. Hopkins' prosthetic makeup looks a bit fake, but the spirit of Hitchcock comes through in his sly performance, and he captures the measured cadence of the filmmaker's speech even though he doesn't sound much like Hitchcock. If the film ultimately feels inconsequential, it always aims to please, and for the most part, it does. As Alma says at one point, even "Psycho," after all, was just a movie. With Jessica Biel, Danny Huston and Toni Collette. PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content and thematic material.