starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette
screenplay by John J. McLaughlin, based on Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello
directed by Sacha Gervasi
by Walter Chaw It's hard to know where to even begin to pick apart Sacha Gervasi's dishonourable drag show Hitchcock, a schlock domestic melodrama with Anthony Hopkins delivering a freak impersonation of Alfred Hitchcock from under a ton of prosthetics that make him look not like Sir Alfred, but like Jim Sturgess as a heroic celestial from Cloud Atlas. Start with the framing story, in which Wisconsin necrophiliac and amateur taxidermist Ed Gein (Michael Wincott, one of the only inspired bits of casting in the entire benighted project) acts as Hitch's father confessor, greatest confidant, and Freudian conduit to the darker recesses of the auteur's soul. He appears, see, the way Dustin Hoffman's imaginary monk appeared to Milla Jovovich's Joan of Arc in Luc Besson's The Messenger: In one scene, Hitch, on a couch, admits to Ed that he has unwholesome thoughts about his leading ladies now and again. It's that obsession for the "Hitchcock blonde" that leads to the discovery of a few sticky head shots in Hitch's den, and for the everlasting resentment of mousy wife Alma (not-mousy Helen Mirren), who decides to have her own fling with failed writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston)--one of several credited writers on Hitchcock's Stage Fright and Strangers on a Train, though Hitchcock doesn't mention that. It doesn't mention much. I suspect that's because no one involved knows anything, which is quite extraordinary when you consider that possibly no other director in the history of Hollywood has had more written about him than Alfred Hitchcock.