There is something so astoundingly earthy and true about Dame Helen Mirren’s performance as Alma Reville in “Hitchcock” that while your senses are seduced and bedazzled by the trappings of 1960 Hollywood, your eyes and heart return again and again to the film’s anchor.
It is, of course, a downright treat to watch her spar with Sir Anthony Hopkins, a unique clash of the titans, but perhaps most compelling is the fierce poise that Helen retains amidst the commotion. Her eyes, often obscured by an array of eccentric eyewear, seem to invoke emotions of compassion, strength, shame and barbed humor, virtually simultaneously. And without an ounce of judgment on the character.
Dame Helen’s meticulous control, as Alma’s frustrations build in the pressure cooker, render the eventual eruption ever the more astonishing. It is both an emotional and technical masterclass.