Friday, 28 December 2012
We've heard for many a year now that old Hitch was a bit of a creepy twat. Now we see it (somewhat frustratingly 2 months behind the US) care of BBC2 on Boxing Day night. The Girl; A somewhat grimy jewel in the crown of their Christmas schedule.
The Girl is an accomplished film that depicts the poignancy and disturbing aspects of unrequited love between the director and his flavour of the month star, Tippi Hedren, who was to be his leading lady in two films; The Birds and Marnie
Perfectly played by all involved but none more so than Toby Jones who simply IS Hitchcock, and in a way that Anthony Hopkins in the Hollywood biopic never can be. Jones is a superb major league character actor rather than Hopkins 'star', and as such he inhabits his roles to the nth degree. He's brilliantly creepy and unsettling, almost as good if not better at such twisted roles as his father, Freddie. However that's not to say he doesn't elicit some sympathy from us in several scenes as the film takes the opportunity to depict Hitchcock as a rather pathetic figure. It could have been explored a little more; Hitch was like all individuals, and especially those talented in their field, complex, but the film doesn't dwell too long on the aspects of his character that made people love him. After all many people he worked with did profess to loving him, and whilst people say that in the script here, there's precious little evidence as to why - the film preferring to focus, a little one sidedly, on his demons and sadistic side.
I also think this is the best I've seen Sienna Miller. She's perfect as Tippi and the film is far better than her previously applauded role as Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl; great performance in a rather hackneyed feature.
I'd recommend The Girl not just as a film about the movies but as a film about dark, twisted and feverish obsession. However I would advise that those who revere Hitch and prefer to imagine him as whiter than white may find it hard to stomach.