Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. Jim Carrey
In Hitchock, Alma Reville does much more than roll her eyes. Unknown to many Alfred Hitchock fans, she played an integral role in the creative production of those dark and dazzling films. In his book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Pyscho, author Stephen Rebello describes her as the “exacting Mrs. Hitchcock” and the first person Alfred had to impress and please with any film idea. Dame Helen Mirren captures the intensity and elegance of this forgotten heroine, while Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Hitch at the height of his fame, just after the dazzling success of North by Northwest.
Determined to prove that he is not a relic at age sixty, Hitch decides to finance and film Psycho after the studios balked at the idea of filming something so grotesque. Undaunted, Hitch mortgages his house and instructs his assistant (Toni Collette) to buy every copy of Robert Bloch’s novel, Psycho, to keep the public from knowing the story. Acting on Alma’s advice, he persuades Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) and Tony Perkins (James D’Arcy) to play the lead characters.
I was impressed by Hopkins’ rendition of the corpulent director obsessed with his leading ladies and fetishes. The seasoned actor inhabits the role, giving one of his best performances. But, in my opinion, Mirren was the star of the movie, leaving me to wonder what Hitchcock’s movies would have been like without Alma.