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Anthony Hopkins plays the legendary director in 'Hitchcock': movie review

Anthony Hopkins does a reasonably good impression of the director, but it's a tough job to take on.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / November 23, 2012

Anthony Hopkins plays Alfred Hitchcock in the new film.

Suzanne Tenner/Fox Searchlight Pictures/AP

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Alfred Hitchcock has been having rather a hard time of it lately. First there was the HBO movie “The Girl,” with Toby Jones playing the Master of Suspense as a blonde-obsessed boor. Now there’s “Hitchcock,” with Anthony Hopkins playing the title role as a blobby crank. He’s still somewhat blonde-obsessed, but mostly he’s wound into knots about the filming of “Psycho” and the possible dalliance of his wife and closest collaborator Alma Reville (Helen Mirren).

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Hopkins has been fitted out prosthetically to resemble Hitchcock and he does a reasonably good job of impersonating him, but it’s a foredoomed effort. Mirren has the easier time of it; Reville was actually around five feet tall and looked nothing like this lanky, eternally sexy actress.

The film, directed by Sacha Gervasi from a script by John J. McLaughlin, cooks up standard-issue marital conflicts between Hitch and Alma, and we don’t get much insight into the director’s artistry either. Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh, and she has the best line about the famously stubborn genius, telling a co-worker, “compared to Orson Welles, he’s a sweetheart.” Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, and thematic material.)

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