We were surprised a couple weeks ago when Hitchcock was given a November release date. The marketing campaign hadn’t really kicked in and HBO had their own HBO movie which will debut shortly that focuses on Hitch’s relationship with Tippi Hedren. So why so soon? Two words: The Artist.
Anthony Hopkins stars as the portly director opposite a cast that includes Helen Mirren (as Hitch’s wife Alma), Scarlett Johansson (as Janet Leigh) Jessica Biel (as Vera Miles) and Ralph Macchio (as Joe Stefano), as Hitchcock struggles to make Psycho, facing a studio and a censor board that doesn’t want the picture, only for the film to be a huge hit (spoiler), and one that irrevocably changed the face of cinema. Indeed, though Hitch may have had more critically acclaimed films, the horror movie genre post-Psycho is unimaginable without the film. It really is that important.
Unfortunately, many of the struggles presented in the trailer look ridiculous. So many films now function on stories about the triumph of the inevitable, and some filmmakers forget that it’s the “how” and “why” of getting there that’s important. We know Hitch is going to make the movie, so the money struggles aren’t a really interesting fulcrum of the plot. And much seems to be exaggerated to make it more cinematic.
This film needs to thread a needle if it’s both trying to be a crowd-pleaser and an Oscar winner. Hollywood loves itself (see: last year’s big Oscar winner), but there’s also enough older actors still kicking around who worked with Hitch to be offended if it takes too many liberties. We shall see when the film hits theaters November 23.
What’s your favorite Hitchcock movie?