Dec 3, 2012

Monday's Words of Wisdom

"And since the movie is basically the "Oscars for Tony and Helen" show, let's go ahead and end with them: both are perfectly satisfactory, neither is revelatory: Mirren can do this kind of character in her sleep and very much seems to have done just that, rousing herself only for the florid Oscar clip scene that showed up so big in the trailer ("all they can see is the Great and Glorious genius AL-fred Hitch-cock!!!"), while Hopkins, considerable more alert and robust in his unashamedly hammy performance, resembles the famous director not at all: his makeup is a joke, but of course that's not the actor's fault, and while Hopkins gets the positively dehydrated sense of humor down, and in the film's opening nails a perfect "good evening", he doesn't come even close to capturing the psychological dysfunction that the movie wants us to see there, very clearly preferring to play a more avuncular Hitch than the screenplay apparently has in mind."
- Tim Brayton
Tim Brayton, as I've noted long ago, is one of my favourite writers, and I can always depend on him for articulating my thoughts in ways much more eloquent than I can ever hope to do on my own. The excerpt above is taken from his brilliant review of Sascha Gervasi's Hitchcock, which you may remember I mildly liked if only because it made for a fun double bill with Psycho. I noted in my own review that "Hopkins is never Hitchcock; he's Hopkins playing Hitchcock. And the same can be said of Biel and Johansson, unfortunately" so I think Tim's right on the money with this one. I do wonder, though, if Mirren and Hopkins have what it takes to be in the Oscar race despite their clip-ready performances. This is far, far from their best work and both have been well-rewarded in the past.

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