After a seemingly abrupt transition from 2013's slate to November 2012, Fox Searchlight isn't wasting any time with their Alfred Hitchcock bio. The official site is up, a new poster (to your left) arrives so shortly after the teaser poster, it wasn't much of a tease at all. And, now, the trailer.
It feels like a long time since a Yes No Maybe So breakdown, right? We course correct now to parse Hitchcock -- the trailer for the film about the man, not the man himself or his films! We'd be here for years for the latter. Based on the two minute evidence do we want to investigate the whole two hours? Why and why not?
You know how this works by now so let's join Alfred & Alma during the making of Psycho...
- 'The Making of Psycho'... we wouldn't have such predictable allergic reactions to biopics if more of them would stay tightly focused on one chapter in someone's life. Cradle-to-grave is just so frought with cliff notes inelegance.
- Psycho is my favorite Hitchcock film, so I'm happy to watch a "making of". Psycho wasn't always my favorite Hitchcock but it just kept climbing the charts over the years until there was no film left to hurdle. But honestly I'd be just as happy to watch "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Torn Curtain" -- pick a film any film -- because behind the scene and screen is a place I love to spend time.
- This Shot!
More 'yes,' the trailer and some 'no's and 'maybe so's after the jump...
- "kill her off after 30 minutes" I love the way Helen Mirren is so obviously going to just destroy that piece of toast. Chomp Chomp. And possibly the scenery as well.
- The possibility of surprise is large with this picture because it gives us so little of Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) and Anthony Perkins (James D'Arcy). Of course maybe they're not in much of the picture.
- There's a real opportunity here to make a tight story about one man and one film that feels epic and expansive about the larger shift in "taste" and permissiveness in the movies. I've always loved the Psycho logo being split / torn because that's what it did to cinema right, cleaved it into two halves... Before and After.
- I always forget that Psycho was based on a book and I like the clip of the scene when Alma reads the novel to Alfred.
Charming. Doris Day should do it as a musical."
- Is this all I get of my cherished Toni Collette? Longshots where she's one of the crowd??? I only caught two glimpses of her -- milliseconds! -- in the trailer. That's not remotely enough Toni.
- Ummmm... This fat guy sounds exactly like Sir Anthony Hopkins and not much like Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Am I allowed to complain about that despite always complaining that people love exact mimicry? I guess Hitchcock's voice is just so memorable that I was hoping to hear it.
- Have I ever told you how much I hate those joke "tags" at the end of trailers?
Oh you imp. You've got nudity in there.
Well, her breasts were rather large. It was a challenge not to show them."
- It could be that the trailer just knows what's marketable to general audiences and not cinephiles but there's more to Psycho than the shower scene and my god they mention the shower scene a LOT in this trailer, not that meditations on the shower scene aren't necessary and can't be thrilling (see, or rather, read the great and unappreciated novel "What You See in the Dark" by Manuel Muñoz which also takes place during the making of Psycho though it's not directly about movie-making.)
- The jokes in the trailer feel more cutesy than funny... less funny even than My Week With Marilyn. Is this going the sort of comedy route. If so I hope they saved the funnier bits for the movie theaters.
- I'm wary of the Great Woman Behind the Great Man angle. Not that this doesn't happen or that Mirren won't nail it but that can feel like cliche.
- Hitchcock's profile, whether fully lit or shadowed, is so famous that you can't avoid it and would be a fool not to use it visually. There are at least clever or pleasing uses of this iconic visual in the trailer but I hope newbie narrative feature director Sacha Gervasi has other visual ideas about the man.
Where do you fall on the Yes No Maybe So scale for this "Making Of" picture?
And which other Hitchcock film would you most like to see a "Making of" for?