In the final analysis, Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock is a love story, which is what is so surprising about the film. One would assume, understandably, from the film's trailers that this is  a biopic of the legendary director Sir Alfred Hitchcock -- which it is, sort of -- and not a probing and intimate exploration of his complex relationship with his wife / confidante / editor Alma Reville, which it is absolutely. Both Sir Anthony Perkins (prosthetically unrecognizable as the Master of Suspense) and Dame Helen Mirren (prim and dutiful) as wife Alma are superb, in every way, as one would expect. The screenplay by John J. McLaughlin (Black Swan) is crafted sharply, with spaces between the lines that reveal almost as much as the dialogue does about the love and envy between these two people who have committed themselves to one another and to the art of filmmaking. Based on the book Stephen Rebello, the movie centers on Hitch's professional crisis after the success of North by Northwest when he was feeling pressure from Paramount to direct something that compared to that winner he'd delivered to MGM.  In a telling moment early in the film, Hitch confesses to Alma that he felt the need to outdo himself and he needed something different, something fresh. That's when the impossibility of making a motion picture out of the book Psycho came to him and became, in time, an obsession as potent as that he had for leggy blondes (apologies to Flight of the Conchords), in this instance, epitomized by Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johannson). This is Gervasi's first feature film and it has a few of the affectations and gaffes of a new director -- insider puns and anachronisms -- but it's a fine picture and is sure to be a delight, especially for movie fans. Recommended.


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