It was always going to be a tough order to pull off an homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock, but Sacha Gervasi has largely gained kudos from the reviewers for having a going at it, though his biopic Hitchcock has by no means found unanimous approval from the grizzled hacks of the critical world.
Director Gervasi certainly can’t be faulted for the cast he assembled for the film; Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock himself, with other characters played by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Dame Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette. Certainly the reviewers found the cast to be their usual excellent selves. “Hopkins catches the essence of Hitchcock as artist and con man. And Mirren is stellar as his wife and secret weapon. The pleasure of their company adds sparkle to this unexpectedly poignant look at a career and a marriage” wrote Rolling Stone. The Chicago Sun Times was a little more guarded but wrote “Anthony Hopkins, superb actor although he is, would not seem to be an obvious choice to play Hitchcock, but I accepted him. His makeup job is transformative.”
However, as to the film itself – which is far more of an interpretation than a factual account of the film director’s life – it found a mixed response, with Variety frustrated by its deviation: “Hitchcock offers almost zero insight into the peculiar workings of creative genius, or into the rich, taboo-shattering legacy of the film whose making it documents” it wrote. That said, if we’re to believe the New York Observer it’s “one of the best movies of 2012”, suggesting that the jury still remains somewhat out on this one.