Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thoughts on HITCHCOCK

I found HITCHCOCK kind of fascinating. Never mind the Ed Gein interweavings, which are preposterous, and the extramarital teasings, which at the very least are chronologically misplaced. Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren seem miscast, but they are better actors than their counterparts in THE GIRL and they succeed completely in inhabiting and telling the story of their script, with depth and nuance and power; in the process, they take this tissue of fact-based fabrications and say something true and honest about Hitch and Alma -- not true to the moment of their lives, perhaps, but to its sum. I thought Scarlett Johansson was perfection as Janet Leigh (requiring much more subtlety than I knew she had), and James D'Arcy also a believable Anthony Perkins. The scene of Hitch listening to the first audience's reaction to the shower murder made me wince with emotion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tippi and Alfie

The HBO Hitchcock movie THE GIRL (2012) held my interest, not least of all because its casting seems in better focus than the major studio HITCHCOCK, but it's still thin broth. And puzzling: there is so much there that I've never read about in Hitchcock bios, and so much in the bios that wasn't dramatized, I was left questioning scenes as much for what they had to offer as for why such outright invention was considered necessary. When the MARNIE honeymoon rape scene was depicted to suggest that Tippi Hedren actually stood nude on set in front of Hitchcock, and that he included the scene specifically to arrange this, I finally knew enough to call "Fowl' (no pun intended, really). The BIRDS attack scene was nicely restaged, but the opportunity to say something useful about these people, or even about sexual harrassment, was spoiled by the decision to eliminate any glimpses of Hitchcock's humor and make the whole thing a one-sided, one-note tissue of suffering.