16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where genius meets obsession
Before starting this review I would like to say that I came to THE GIRL with no knowledge of Hitchcock's involvement with Tippi Hedren. I am also not a strong follower of him. I have seen some of his films and recognise that he did have a huge talent for creating thrilling cinema. However, I did not know much about him in regards to what he was like away from his...
Published 11 months ago by Brida
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Error Strewn Nonsense
I'd avoid this TV movie like the plague. It's full of factual errors. One only has to look at Tippi Hedren's real screen test on You Tube to see how different it is from the untruths presented here. This sets the sleazy tone for the rest of the 90 minutes which has obviously been conceived to bring down the reputation of the Master by individuals with an axe to grind. The...
Published 7 months ago by MargoH
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where genius meets obsession,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)Before starting this review I would like to say that I came to THE GIRL with no knowledge of Hitchcock's involvement with Tippi Hedren. I am also not a strong follower of him. I have seen some of his films and recognise that he did have a huge talent for creating thrilling cinema. However, I did not know much about him in regards to what he was like away from his director's chair. What I would also add is that THE GIRL offers one side of a story - although I cannot claim to know enough of the man to try and determine if the magnitude of Hitchcock's obsession with Tippi was portrayed correctly, I would guess that he did have some kind of obsession with her. After all, there is rarely smoke without fire.
THE GIRL shows how Hitchcock and his wife discover Tippi, a model who starred in a commercial, and then sign her up for the lead role in his film The Birds. Before this role, Tippi has little acting experience and the Hitchcocks appear only too pleased to offer her help and guidance; not moudling as such, but mentoring her, trying to get the best out of her. However, the relationship sours when Hitchcock appears to expect, or wants, more from Tippi than she is willing to give. Because she rejects him Hitchcock then goes on to punish her before ultimately ending her career.
Personally, I found THE GIRL very compelling. I thought that the cast did a very good job of putting this side of the story across. It was a difficult film to watch - the suggested lengths that Hitchcock went to was really quite disturbing. I can understand why fans of his work would perhaps feel afrronted by the depiction of him here. However, just because the man was very talented in his field of work does not mean that he was without his dark side. All of us have one, for some theirs is just darker and more encompassing than others'.
I would recommend this to others purely as an examination of desire which leads to obsession. It can sometimes be a fine line between the two and what makes someone go down this particular path is always complex. However, if you are a true fan of Hitchcock and do not wish to see his name sullied in any way, you may be wise to pass this one by.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising.,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)I'm a big fan of Hitchcock, The Birds, Sienna Miller & the 1960s era itself so I was very looking forward to watching this. The makers did their research & conducted interviews with Tippi herself & other cast & crew members, so this should be as realistic & truthful as it hopefully can be.
I found it totally mesmerising. Toby Jones is fantastic as Hitchcock & his developing obsession with Tippi. From the moment he lays eyes on her, to essentially grooming her to be his leading lady & how his world seems to start to unravel as it goes on. Sienna Miller was also very good; I really warmed to her character as time went on & the scenes of her at home as a mother added a contrast to the glamorous filmstar world.
It's quite creepy in places, especially with regards to Hitchcock's unwanted sexual advances. It's also genuinely frightening; we even jumped in places! The styling also deserves a mention & I wanted to jump into the screen & be there in that 1960s world.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Error Strewn Nonsense,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)I'd avoid this TV movie like the plague. It's full of factual errors. One only has to look at Tippi Hedren's real screen test on You Tube to see how different it is from the untruths presented here. This sets the sleazy tone for the rest of the 90 minutes which has obviously been conceived to bring down the reputation of the Master by individuals with an axe to grind. The widow of the Assistant Director on "The Birds" has already said that her husband would not have endorsed the movie's portrayal of Hitchcock. For a much more balanced view, there's a new book called "The Making of Hitchcock's The Birds" which exposes this poorly researched hatchet job on Hitchcock.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating !,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)It is interesting to compare this film with the Anthony Hopkins film Hitchcock. Whatever your feelings are about its portrayal of the famous director, Toby Jones is incredibly impressive as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller does a good job as Tippi Hedren with terrific support from Imelda Staunton as the long-suffering Alma. Clearly shot on a low budget the film manages to combine strong performances with apparent high production values in this compelling re-telling of the director's much quoted obsession with his beautiful star. Using information from Donald Spoto's book and Tippi Hedren herself, the incidents portrayed - grotesque though they are - appear to be based on fact. Once you have seen this film you will never be able to watch Hitchcock's"The Birds" or "Marnie" the same way again!
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly Old Fool....,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)I never gave much heed to Sienna Miller but after watching her excellent performance as Tippi Hedren my appreciation of her as vastly excelled. The way she mimics Hedren's walk, screen test and scenes from The Birds & Marnie is second to none.
Toby Jones wasn't bad but, in my opinion of course, greatly over shadowed by Miller.
Good directing from Julian Jarrold and not a bad screenplay either. The way it portrays Tippi's sexual harassment by Hitchcock is quite shocking... Poor woman. On the one hand he jettisons her career into Hollywood stardom only to take it away with the other by allowing himself to become obsessed with her and loose control of his emotions, thus bullying her through jealous rages. I got the impression his directing genius was saturated by the Hollywood dream machine making him loose his way (or his mind depending on which way you want to interpret this.)Silly old fool.
Well worth a watch.
I just hope it gives Miller the platform she deserves to excel her acting credibility.
12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where was the continuity?,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)Poorly researched. Error strewn nonsense.
Alfred Hitchcock was renowned for his professionalism and bringing his films in under budget. Would he really waste five days of filming in order to 'punish' Tippi Hedren.
Also after each take why wasn't the actresses hair restored to it's original state before the bird attack scene commenced. Look at the original film perfect hair and no scratches!! Also the telephone booth scene. Real glass would never have been used, the stunt/ apecial effects department would have supervised this. A director would have had no involvement in this. Also why risk your leading lady being disfigured during filming?
If Hitchcock was so awful, why did Tippi Hedren return to make Marnie?
I've no objections to films being made about real people, but let's at least have more than one viewpoint. Rather than the unreliable testimony of an actress who never reached the heights of these two movies again.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a hatchet job,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)I recorded this drama over Christmas and have only just got round to watching it.
It was very heavily hyped before the holiday and I was looking forward to a major
production from the BBC. In the event, notwithstanding excellent acting and production
values, it turned out to be an American effort based on a book by Donald Spoto of
frankly dubious recollections by Tippi Hedren of her time working with Hitchcock
mainly on "The Birds". This was the extent of the so-called "research" which went
into the making of the drama. The motives of Spoto and Ms Hedren are somewhat
questionable to say the least and have prompted quite an outcry from Hitchcock fans.
There may well be elements of truth in the drama but they strike me as taken
completely out of context and overall I do not believe any of it is much of a
faithful document of Hitchcock and his relationships with his leading ladies, many
of whom are recorded as saying what a consummate professional Hitchcock was. The
new film with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, from the few excerpts I have seen so far,
seems to be a far more affectionate and balanced treatment. It also has the gorgeous
Helen Mirren as Hithcock's wife, surely a recommendation in itself.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 STARS!,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)This film is awesome... a testimonial to Tippi, Hitch, and the making of the birds. A must for all Hitchcock fans!
13 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This ain't Hitchcock,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)This is a poor film that paints Hitchcock as a sad pathetic nasty little man who is so obsessed with Tippi Hedren - star of the Birds that all else fades into insignificance. I always thought he was a genius director, one of the best if not the best ever, who was a perfectionist and demanded the most from his actors. He wanted the main character in the Birds to be a beautiful rather vacuous woman from the city - This was a film in which I believe the birds themselves were the stars and it was a film primarily driven by events rather than character. (though for character look no further than Suzanne Pleshette's performance as schoolteacher Annie who conveys a lifetime of regret and bitterness saying hardly a word). Tippi Hedren - a model rather than actress - would have fitted as an inexperienced actor who could be moulded and was very much a means to an end and you only have to look at the resulting film to see that it paid off - one of the best. However none of Hitchcock's genius is in evidence here in an unbalanced film not helped by a poor script which leads to wooden characterless performances from Toby Jones and Imelda Staunton and a nondescript performance from Sienna Miller. The direction is painfully turgid and free from drama. There is the occasional Hitchcockian scene thrown in (the shower in Psycho etc) which is all rather obvious and lacks subtlety. In the end a 90 minute film felt like 3 hours to me but I suppose I stayed the course - or perhaps fell asleep I can't remember.
I am really not a fan of these "true life" biographies and films that look to do a hatchet job on very well known but dead people. They are not in a position to defend themselves and it seems easy pickings but hey ...it's what sells isn't it? However I had hoped that the film would be a bit more even handed and have more than one dimension. A bit more ambiguity would have helped. I am sure that Hitchcock was an unusual, awkward and flawed character but those tend to be the traits of geniuses. He may well have not behaved that well but this has to be put in the context of the far less enlightened times of the early sixties and attaching today's attitudes to it doesn't really add anything. Still I am not sure I believe things happened in the way the film makes out. I am sure he upset a lot of people along the way and this resulting film smacks of payback. So it fails for me on all levels. Mind you if Hitchcock had directed it then we might have had a film. Leave this one alone and get the Birds - a far better use of time.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius comes at a price,
This review is from: The Girl [DVD] (DVD)As you can probably tell, this TV film has split people. The people who have rated it one-star have generally done it on the basis that the film portrays Hitchcock as a voyeur and argue that the filmmakers are trying to tarnish his reputation. For a start, I doubt that anybody reviewing this product personally knew Hitchcock and so none of us are qualified to say whether Hitchcock really had this dark side or not. You don't need to look very far to find case studies of celebrities with a friendly persona but dark personal life.
I'm inclined to view the film as more speculation than truth but that does not take away from the film's power. It's shot and styled very much like a Hitchcock film- quite fitting for a film about Hitchcock. Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones) is a masterful director about to make his latest film- The Birds. He and his wife Alma (Imelda Staunton) recruit model Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) to play the lead. But Hitch develops an uncontrollable obession with Tippi and punishes her for her unwillingness to give in to him...
Initially Toby Jones' performance just appears to be showing Hitchcock as a dirty old man in order to stir up a bit of controversy but he actually humanises Hitchcock whilst showing us why Hitchcock was the master of suspense. Jones is enigmatic and troubled, his obsession for Tippi hinting at wider insecurities. We leave the film admiring Hitchcock as a filmmaker and fearing him as a person.
Sienna Miller is pitch-perfect as Tippi Hedren. A devoted mother and friend, she is completely Hitchcock's doll as soon as she steps into the studio- and he can't get enough of it.
Imelda Staunton is great as Alma, who unlike in the film Hitchcock, is pushed to the background here. She becomes almost a pimp, reluctantly allowing her husband to pursue Tippi, and is convincing as the wife of a genius.
The film is ultimately a celebration of Hitchcock- not of the man but of the art that outlives him- and asks us to consider whether genius comes at a price and whether the price is worth it.
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The Girl [DVD] by Julian Jarrold (DVD - 2013)