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The Girl [DVD]
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Alfred Hitchcock was at the height of his fame and creativity when, in 1962, he chose an unknown fashion model to star in his most ambitious film - The Birds. But as he sculpted Tippi Hedren into the perfect Hitchcock blonde of his imagination, he became obsessed with the impossible dream of winning the real woman’s love. His failure to do so would all but destroy both of their careers in what would become a passionate and destructive struggle for survival. Screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes has interviewed Tippi Hedren, and surviving members of Hitchcock’s crew. This film tells their full tragic story for the first time. Starring Toby Jones (Titanic, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Sienna Miller (Layer Cake, Alfie, Factory Girl), supported by Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake) and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey). Directed by Julian Jarrold (Appropriate Adult).
- The Making of The Girl featuring Toby Jones, Sienna Miller and more
- Picture Gallery
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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.
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.
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.
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The entire cast is excellent & Toby Jones is uncanny.