9 February 2013
I had eagerly anticipated the opening of Hitchcock – the latest film starring the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlet Johansson and even Toni Collette, directed by Sacha Gervasi.
Now I’m running The Atrium, a small arts centre that has a lovely 190 seat theatre for live performance and cinema, I have to choose our films carefully as we have not got the license budgets or resources like the large cinema chains. We’re also new – I only started in September and we’re still finding our way as an independent venue in rural Norfolk, in the market town of North Walsham.
Our ticket prices are just £5 or £4 and I want to keep the full cinema experience accessible to lots of people. I knew this would lead me to question the £30 experience I got when I saw Hitchcock last night at a cinema in Norwich. Two tickets, popcorn and a drink for just under £30. At The Atrium the same experience would have cost just £14.30. when writing this blog I was unsure it would be a review of the film or a comparison between the two venues and like the film I went to see, this has turned into a meandering skit – with a knowing smirk and dose of hopeful charm.
There have been a few takes on aspects of Hitchcock’s life. As an avid Hitchcock fan I’ve seen all the films, directed the stage version of Strangers On A Train, developed some stage-works loosely based on his style, but I can honestly say it was a warming 98 minutes – with enough references in there to make the Hitchcock novice chuckle. Perhaps even those who haven’t yet seen his most famous Psycho.
Having acting greats such as Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren in the lead (I saw the whole film as a shared lead) means there’s quality. It means that even scenes of pure conversation are watchable. It means every single movement, flicker of an eyelid or chewing of food for the always-peckish Hitch was just right.
The film was full of charming nostalgia of the time, with the hairdos, fashion and cars. The familiar faces of Janet Leigh, Vera miles and Anthony Perkins carefully recreated to take us through the process of making the infamous shocker Psycho. The story only just scratches the surface of Hitchcock’s fascination with his blondes, and instead, gives us the insight into his married life with Alma Reville. I’m guessing the part was written with Helen Mirren and no other in mind.
There are moments of charming references such as using the same final-cut camera angles to record the filming of the famous shower scene to the habitual grotesque eating.
Unlike the actual films of Hitch, there was no shock factor or episodes of revelation – but I do think it’s a charming film that has exposed just a fraction of what only Hitch himself could reveal – and I’m sure he’d do it in his own way.
Above: Anthony Hopkins as Hitch and Scarlet Johansson as Janet Leigh.
Top image: Anthony Hopkins as Hitch and Helen Mirren as Alma Reville.