DVD tip: "Hitchcock"

This isn't a great film by any means, but it is an enjoyable one. It focuses on Alfred Hitchcock's making of "Psycho" and his fraught relationship with his wife, who was also his behind-the-scenes collaborator. The movie tosses in some odd notes, most notably sequences of Hitchcock imagining conversations with the real murderer who inspired "Psycho." The performances are all over the place, with Scarlett Johansson going pert as Janet Leigh and James D'Arcy overemphasizing Anthony Perkins' tics. And as Hitch, Anthony Hopkins still seems to be finding the character. In short, director Sacha Gervasi doesn't create a strong, unified vision. And yet damned if "Hitchcock" isn't a fun watch - a guilty pleasure maybe, but a pleasure nonetheless. The real standout here is Helen Mirren as Hitchcock's wife. She conveys Alma's support of Alfred and yet her frustration and hurt over his occasional dismissive attitude toward her - and over his fascination with his leading ladies.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

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