Director: Sacha Gervasi
Nominated: Makeup and Hair
I’m not sure if Hitchcock benefitted from having Anthony Hopkins play the eponymous director or if it suffered. You see I just couldn’t shake the image of Hannibal Lector while watching Hitchcock, and the whole film gained a creepy edge to it due to this. Don’t get me wrong Hopkins is excellent just a little creepy. He is extremely voyeuristic, always watching from the sidelines and peeping at his actresses. Mind you I suppose the very job of being a director takes on a voyeuristic quality as essentially they are watching everything through the means of a camera lens. I would be interested to know where Hopkins got his inspiration for Lector from because I could see a similarity in how he held his head as both Lector and Hitchcock. Physically he bears a strong resemblance to the infamous Master of Suspense thanks to the stellar work done by the hair and makeup teams.
They got the look of some of the more well-known actors spot on. James D’Arcy looks strikingly like Anthony Perkins also known as Norman Bates. And while Scarlett Johansson is still instantly recognizable as herself she has got the essence of Janet Leigh. The filming of the shower scene is really quite epic and I imagine must have been fairly daunting. They are taking on one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, one that gave rise to a whole new way of approaching horror which is still clearly evident in the genre to this day.
I hadn’t realized that some of his most well-known films were not all that commercially successful at their time of release or that he had so much disinterest and skepticism from the studios when it came to pitching Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) so I found those aspects of the story really interesting.
I enjoyed the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, played masterfully by Helen Mirren. He is clearly a complete nightmare to live with especially during a shoot when he becomes entirely immersed in his project and yet they have such a deep love and respect for each other. I love the fact that Alma is filmic in her own right – when Hitchcock takes ill she takes his place in the director’s chair on set and is shown to be extremely capable, at a time when women were only just beginning to gain more respect in the workplace.
Seeing both the audience’s reaction and Hitchcock’s reaction to theirs at the release of Psycho is rewarding considering all the obstacles he had to overcome in order to get the project off the ground in the first place. I found Hitchcock to be a charming little movie despite the creepy undertone, never more obvious in the asides where Hitchcock is conversing with Ed Gein (the real-life inspiration for Norman Bates) in his mind.