“Hitchcock” is the late arrival in this year’s Oscar race, yanked forward from Fox Searchlight’s 2013 slate into a prime-bait November slot. Does that mean they think they’ve got something genuinely special on their hands –, or just easy fodder for acting nominations, given the Academy’s recent weakness for famous people playing other famous people?
A newly unveiled trailer doesn’t do much to answer the question, though it does confirm what early marketing materials suggested: that “Anvil!” director Sacha Gervasi’s film — not a formal biopic, despite what the bland title promises, but a study of the making of “Psycho” — is taking a comedic approach to the material. Given Hitchcock’s own playful sene of humor, that seems the right approach to take… though let’s hope the film has a black edge to it, and isn’t just a puffball in the “My Week With Marilyn” vein.
Either way, the timing couldn’t be sweeter for a Hitchcock-related film. Here in the UK, at least, after “Vertigo” came out tops in the decennial Sight & Sound critics’ poll, there’s been a renewed surge of media scrutiny of the man and his work, including a three-month British Film Institute retrospective in London. Fanning the flames is the controversial BBC/HBO TV film “The Girl,” which focuses on Hitch’s relationship with Tippi Hedren and casts him in a less-than-flattering light — it would appear that Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal in “Hitchcock,” opposite Helen Mirren as his long-suffering wife Alma, is a more affectionate portrait.
Check out the trailer below and share your thoughts. Could Hopkins and/or Mirren be Oscar-bound once more? Or is does this promise a minor diversion while “Beasts of the Southern Wild” remains Searchlight’s chief Best Picture player?