By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 20, 2012 at 1:53PM
Fox Searchlight has been trying to make up its mind about whether or not to open documentarian Sacha Gervasi's first narrative feature, "Hitchcock," for awards consideration by year's end. Now it's official. The film will be a limited platform release on November 23. Searchlight is also pushing "The Sessions," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" in this year's Oscar race.
The movie, which started filming in April, had to be finished in time, for one thing. The film is written by John J. McLaughlin based on the book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" by Stephen Rebello, and stars Anthony Hopkins as the iconic director whose "Vertigo" now tops the latest Sight & Sound critics poll. Co-stars are Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator Alma Reville, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, and James D'Arcy ("Cloud Atlas") as Anthony Perkins. Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel and Michael Stuhlbarg also star.
Hitchcock is the Marilyn Monroe of film directors. Everyone seems interested in him right now. Toby Jones plays him in 'The Girl," an HBO movie about his kinky relationship with star Tippi Hedron (Sienna Miller) on "The Birds," which inspired actress Hedron to call him "evil and deviant" at the TCA press conference. The movie will play the upcoming Hamptons Film Festival. (Trailer below.)
This "HItchcock" shows the less controversial side of the powerful Brit director, functioning as a love story between the filmmaker and wife Reville. Thus Hopkins and Mirren are entering the race for best actor and actress. And rival Oscar chasers are gnashing their teeth at the prospect of more competition.