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Early Reviews: HBO's 'The Girl' Premieres at the Hampton Film Festival

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood October 8, 2012 at 1:08PM

HBO premiered their Hitchcock vs. Hedren flick, "The Girl" at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Early reviews hint that while the film entertains, it doesn't quite satisfy in terms of character development. Toby Jones' portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock is praised across the board, while critics say that Sienna Miller is passable, but not notable. The film avoids the horror tropes that the master of suspense was known for, instead aiming to reveal the psychological underpinnings of the main characters.
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TheGirl

HBO premiered its Alfred Hitchcock vs. Tippi Hedren flick "The Girl" at the Hamptons International Film Festival this past weekend. Early reviews hint that while the film set during the filming of "The Birds" entertains, it doesn't quite satisfy in terms of character development.  Toby Jones' portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock is praised across the board, while critics say that Sienna Miller is passable if not notable.  The film avoids the horror tropes that the master of suspense was known for, instead aiming to reveal the psychological underpinnings of the main characters. At the TCA critics' panel, Hedren called Hitchcock "evil and deviant."

Fox Searchlight will release its more positive take on Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and collaborator/wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), "Hitchcock," on November 23.

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

This account of the obsessive master/muse relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren entertains but falls short on psychological insight… The script doesn’t quite build Hedron into a three-dimensional character, but Miller makes a suitably beguiling prey to Jones’ predator while still showing enough backbone not to fall completely victim to the puppet-master’s power games.

Drew Taylor, The Playlist

While it has a brief running time and a whole lot of personal Hitchcock narrative to squeeze in (including the production of the second movie that Hedren and Hitchcock did together, in spite of everything, "Marnie"), the film feels thin and uninvolving. Besides the conspicuously low budget (the photography is flat and the audio tinny), "The Girl" seems doggedly uninterested in exploring Hedren's emotional interior.

Matt Patches, Hollywood.com

Toby Jones is astounding as Hitchcock, conjuring up the charm on the surface and unearthing Hitchcock's twisted center that would occasionally bubble to the top. Jones' Hitch is plagued by his physical insecurities and, in turn, capitalizes on his clout to muscle others. The actor disappears into Hitchcock's voice and mannerisms, but they're never prohibitive of Jones layered performance. Miller, who has been out of the spotlight for a few years, plays Hedren like one of the blonde bombshells that would turn up in the Hitchcock's own films. Hedren's not fleshed out like Hitchcock, but Miller bounces back and forth gracefully…

This article is related to: HBO , HBO, Hamptons International Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, Festivals, Festivals, Reviews, Reviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.