Reprise: Sometimes I just can’t help myself movie reviews – Vickie Lester on “Hitchcock” (2012)

Alfred Hitchcock

Okay kittens, let me just say this has been a very good year for movies. I’ve loved, “Stand up Guys”, “Argo”, “Skyfall”, “Moonrise Kingdom”, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, I could go on and on… And then we come to “Hitchcock”…

Wait, I’m removing my white kid gloves and pouring a shot of whiskey in my coffee.

Mr. Gervasi, if you are going to make a movie about one of the most METICULOUS directors in Hollywood, take a moment and learn the craft Hitchcock spent his life perfecting. Oh my god Sacha! I thought we were being punk’d by the other one named Baron Cohen.

A riveting screenplay doesn’t guarantee a good film.  This is the thing about movies, THEY ARE VISUAL. Your eye should be drawn to important gestures, expressions, key props. You should wonder what’s in the shadows,  be calmed by a nice diffusion, and be shocked by a glare. I don’t need to see the stitching on an actor’s lapel, the pores on ANYONE’S face, or lipstick creeping into wrinkles. It’s not nice.

The dairy section at my local grocery store has sexier lighting than this movie!

Fact, Jeff Croneweth is a major talent – I’m guessing this was one of those situations where the novice director told the experienced DP “I don’t want to wait around for lights to be moved – just make it bright and I’ll shoot.” With Fox nodding in agreement, “fast and made on a dime, that’s how we like it!”

What a missed opportunity, great cinematographer, great cast, fascinating moment in an icon’s life… What could possibly have gone wrong?

And, while I’m on a tear – want to know why pervy old Alfred H. never made a pass at Janet Leigh? Well, it might have been because she was married to a darling man who happened to be a bit of a hot head with mob friends, Tony Curtis. Did I say something about a riveting screenplay… that was a hypothetical statement… And, who knows? Some of the worst moments, like… one of my favorite actors conducting a screaming audience at the premiere of “Psycho” might have been improv. But, knowing how these things work I seriously doubt it. Face it, no matter what, if a movie tanks it’s the director’s fault. Of course it didn’t help that the screen screamed “cheap”.

Come on Fox, a more reasonable budget and a couple extra days of shooting and you might have had a movie worthy of the name.

Subscribe to Podcast


  1. December 15, 2012

    Hear, hear.

    • December 15, 2012

      It was so dreadful — did you have a least favorite moment?

      • December 16, 2012

        I haven’t seen this as yet. Still, I loved your reasoning, via Hitchcock’s craft, for why this film didn’t work.

      • December 16, 2012

        Tell me when you see it – and baby, we will dish!!!

  2. December 15, 2012

    I am sorry to hear that. I will see it, but maybe on my TV at home, while doing other things. The “The dairy section at my local grocery store has sexier lighting than this movie!” is brilliant. Thank you.

    • December 15, 2012

      If I hadn’t been at a screening I would have pulled out my knitting… At home while doing MANY other things would be the perfect viewing situation 😉

  3. December 15, 2012

    Ah, that’s unfortunate. I guess I’ll wait to see it until it comes out on DVD. Off to spend my pittance on the Hobbit 🙂

  4. December 15, 2012

    Well, next to “Liz and Dick” it was a masterpiece. Yes yes… it was lit like “Murder She Wrote”.

    • December 16, 2012

      Good lord, I had wiped that from my memory – or course, you’re right, compared to that it was a masterpiece!

  5. December 16, 2012

    I thought the trailer for this looked good but perhaps this is as good as it gets. What annoys me about films of this genre is the great seduction by nostalgia at the expense of narrative plot et al. The devil is surely in the detail. So sorry you didn’t enjoy it but I enjoyed your irritation!

    • December 16, 2012

      Wait until it comes to HBO 😉 Saw “Silver Linings Playbook” last night – I don’t know how accurate a portrayal of mental illness it was but it was a really enjoyable film.

  6. December 17, 2012

    I cannot drag myself to watch this. I almost feel asleep during the HBO movie about The Birds which aired earlier this year.

    • December 17, 2012

      Well, you could consider it a sleep aid… Or, I suspect, you would get as irritated as I did watching it 😉

  7. George Kaplan
    January 25, 2013

    I was going to ask you if you saw The Girl with Toby Jones (son of the marvellous Freddie), but it appears you answered that above! What a load of old pony that was.
    Regarding Tony Curtis, I thought he must have willed his prosthetic nose from The Boston Strangler to Anthony Hopkins for use in Hitchcock but then I reflected Tony was probably re-using the one from Nixon… I must say Helen Mirren looks great in it (Hitchcock not the nose) – though that might make me sound like “pervy old Alfred H.” – despite not being convinced in her as Alma (or in Sir Anthony as Hitch, tho’ that may be because Alfred is so *familiar*).

  8. March 4, 2015

    I thank you for watching this and writing your very witty review. You have saved me some time and money as I won’t be watching it now.

Comments are closed.