Executives of sanitation and water plants could not explain the sudden drop in water usage. There were many people walking around with a musty smell and slightly unpolished look. Hotel employees were perplexed in the sudden cancellation of room reservations. Well, maybe things were not that bad; however, you cannot tell me there were not a lot of people who thought twice about taking a shower, after they saw the movie Psycho. I remember the first time I saw this movie and how my heart raced. When a film is considered a classic, I enjoy hearing the back story on how forces came together to create such a great movie. This was one of the reasons I wanted to see this film, along with Anthony Hopkins’ (Thor, Proof) performance as famed director Alfred Hitchcock. When the story focused on the birth of Psycho it was fascinating. Even with all the success Hitchcock had with the movie studio, they balked at his plans, refusing to finance the project. I got a kick out of all the tidbits surrounding the filming process. It was fun to see Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, The Avengers) and James D’Arcy (W.E., Cloud Atlas) playing Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. In some scenes Anthony Hopkins was believable as Hitchcock; but at times, it seemed as if he slipped out of character and the makeup was odd. For me, the star of this movie was Helen Mirren (The Last Station, The Debt) as Alfred’s wife Alma Reville. I had no idea, if the story here is true, that she was as influential as she was portrayed. The problem I had was when the story veered off the making of Psycho and delved into the relationship Alma and Alfred had, it did not make for a cohesive story line. I appreciated the things I learned from this interesting movie; I just wished it had been more.
2 3/4 stars
Conjuring up the directional spirit of Alfred Hitchcock, this intelligent suspense movie was beautifully directed by Roman Polanski. Atmospheric scenes added to the thrilling story as Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Miss Potter) introduced himself as the Ghost aka the ghost writer. He was hired to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, played by Pierce Brosnan (Die Another Day, Mamma Mia), when the previous ghost writer died from an accidental drowning. As Ewan’s character delved into Mr. Lang’s past, he discovered something unusual. My attention was totally captured by this exciting film. Without the use of explosions or hi-tech wizardry, this movie steadily built up the anticipation with the aid of a smart script. The characters were all believable to me and with Mr. Polanski’s trained eye for making each frame appear full, I loved the way the tension kept a steady pace throughout the movie. The casting of Pierce in the role of prime minister was bloody brilliant. The only complaint I had about this film was my disappointment in the way it ended. However, it was not traumatic enough for me to have lost my enthusiasm for having been a witness to this gripping movie.
3 1/3 stars — DVD