BEHIND EVERY PSYCHO IS A GREAT WOMAN.
Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is on top of his game, but when he decides to turn a real-life story about a deranged murderer who shared a bed with his dead mother into a movie, he’s in for a challenge. The story of how Psycho (1960) risked ending the career for the Master of Suspense is also an analysis of his marriage; there was plenty of devotion, but also distractions and indiscretions. The film also tries to create a psychological connection between Hitch and Ed Gein, the killer who inspired Norman Bates. As a drama, the film comes up short, but is elevated by the cast, excellent makeup design, good pacing and an admirably light touch.
2012-U.S. 98 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ivan Reitman, Alan Barnette, Joe Medjuck, Tom Pollock, Tom Thayer. Directed by Sacha Gervasi. Screenplay: John J. MacLaughlin. Book: Stephen Rebello (“Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho”). Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Alfred Hitchcock), Helen Mirren (Alma Reville), Scarlett Johansson (Janet Leigh), Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg… Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, Ralph Macchio.
Last word: “When we met to me, Tony [Hopkins] said, ‘This is not going to be the story of the making of a great movie, is it?’ I said, ‘As a back-drop, yeah, but it’s really this relationship story.’ We made a decision to make a different kind of movie than the one that people had anticipated. To me, there was no emotion in showing how shots were done of a great movie that stands alone. First of all, the movie never would have gotten made. And second of all, there wasn’t really much emotional drama to it. The untold story was the one of their relationship, and that’s what we decided to focus on. Tony and Helen and I really wanted to tell that story because it was something different.” (Gervasi, Collider)