With Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston , Michael Wincott, Jessica Biel, Kurtwood Smith, Ralph Macchio
Written by John J. McLaughlin (based on the book by Stephen Rebello)
Directed by Sacha Gervasi
With a highly successful career up until the the acclaimed North By North West right at the end of the '50s, word floated that maybe it is time Alfred Hitchcock “the master of suspense” retired while he's on top. So, while looking for his next project, in reaction the feisty, dry-witted and stubborn director decided to take on a very controversial novel, which everyone (including the studio) thought was a bad and tacky move. The book: Psycho (based on the notorious mother-obsessed serial killer Ed Gein).
Poetic license also comes into play as we see Hitchcock wrestling with the the dark subject matter, the spirit of Ed Gein visiting him and placing him at some of the locations of his gruesome killings, giving him advice and confiding in him.
When it comes to recreating a very well known public figure, detail is essential. While the make-up is good and Hopkins performing well as usual, somehow small nuances distanced me from the believability (just like Hopkins' portrayal of Nixon lacked little bits), for instance just like in this case, a lower voice was needed. But had Hopkins adopted Hitchcock's speech 100% (being both deeper and much slower), the movie's running time may have ended up twice as long...
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished
A: Multi-Viewing Potential