Friday, February 15, 2008

Hitchcock Heaven

Okay, this is seriously the most awesome thing ever. Vanity Fair did this brilliant photo spread honoring Alfred Hitchcock for their March 2008 issue. I'm a Hitchcock freak. I'm crazy obsessed. In a healthy way, of course. So, they have modern actors recreating moments from classic Hitchcock films. It's so cool! A lot of these actors had a blow-up year in 2007. There's lots of award winners and nominees and people at the top of their game, and a couple vets. And these are seriously amazing pictures. They're so intricate and expressive and totally capture the spirit of Hitchcock. They would even set up a shoot like it WAS a Hitchcock film, being all Hitchcock-style obsessive and getting every last detail right (they got the same company to replicate Cary Grant's suit in North by Northwest for Seth Rogen, for instance). I've included all the pictures, and I'll list the who and what of each one. After all the pictures, I'll make some brief comments about my favorites and not-so-favorites. So, enjoy! Did I mention how super-mega-ultra fantastically, wonderfully, monumentally cool I think this project is? It's Hitchcock bliss.

Charlize Theron - Dial M for Murder

Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem - Rear Window

Naomi Watts - Marnie

Keira Knightley and Jennifer Jason Leigh - Rebecca

Emile Hirsch and James McAvoy - Strangers on a Train

Renée Zellweger - Vertigo

Gwyneth Paltrow and Robert Downey, Jr. - To Catch a Thief

Tang Wei, Josh Brolin, Casey Affleck, Eva Marie Saint, Ben Foster,
Omar Metwally, Julie Christie - Lifeboat

Jodie Foster - The Birds

Seth Rogen - North by Northwest

Marion Cotillard - Psycho

So, pretty impressive, right? I love it!

There's a making-of video on this page that's really cool and artistic and aesthetically interesting in itself. And it's amazing to see them in action on these sets.

Okay, so here's my recap. I think Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, and Gwyneth Paltrow all do a great Grace Kelly (Theron does it best, though). I LOVE that Javier Bardem is playing Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window. It's the total opposite of No Country for Old Men. It's genius casting. Naomi Watts is exquisite in this shot. And she looks exactly like Tippi Hedren. The Rebecca shot is good - Knightley might be playing it a little too strong, and Leigh might be playing it a little too weird (portraying Judith Anderson is a tall, weird order, though), but it works. The To Catch a Thief shot is gorgeous with all the fireworks in the back and everything. It totally gets the mood right, and Paltrow is great, but could Robert Downey, Jr. be any more boring? What an insult to Cary Grant. The Lifeboat shot is cool - I like the hodgepodge, as well as the fact that Brolin, Affleck, and Foster were all cowboys this past year. Jodie Foster sucks. That's my least favorite. What the hell is she doing? She's a disgrace to The Birds.

These last four are my favorites. Renée Zellweger totally captures whatever the hell Kim Novak is doing at the end of Vertigo. Actually, she brings more to this photo than Novak brought to, well, any film. Zellweger's depiction is perfect, and she got so into it. Seth Rogen works it as Cary Grant in the North by Northwest shot. I'm surprised. It's so against type that it makes sense for some reason, and it's excellent. Aww, Emile Hirsch and James McAvoy for the Strangers on a Train picture. They're such cuties! I want to see them do this film, and that's a high compliment, because Strangers on a Train is my favorite Hitchcock film and maybe (I'm not committing to it) my favorite film of all time. Just don't call Gus van Sant. They're totally hot, and they're two of the best young actors around, so what more could you want?

And finally, my favorite is Marion Cotillard doing Marion Crane in Psycho. Ahh! I didn't even make that connection until I typed it out! Marion and Marion! Vanity Fair, I love you. Hers is by far the most intense, and the layout of the photo is fantastic. It's like nine small frames. I can visualize Hitchcock's storyboards and hear Herrman's score looking at it. Cotillard's just phenomenal. The shower scene is so iconic and probably intimidating to a lot of actresses, but she's the one to do it. She's totally worthy. And I happen to adore her, so it's exciting to see her in anything. Also, Psycho is practically tied with Strangers on a Train in my book of Hitchcock favorites. For a long time, it was THE movie for me. So, the Marion Cotillard shot is extra special.

I want to wallpaper my room with these pictures. I wonder if that can be arranged somehow. Anyway, Hitchcock would love this photo-homage. Do you know why? So many pretty blondes. It would be like a blonde buffet for him. Somewhere, I bet he's licking his lips lasciviously. And I really mean that in the fondest way possible. I love that dirty old perv. I'm brimming with love and respect and affection for Hitchcock. Besides, he'd be the first to admit he was a dirty old perv.


Sawyer J. Lahr said...

I love it. Remembering classical film. Shows some of our greatest actors and actresses have an appreciation for this auteur's characters or at least Vanity Fair's editors or the man/woman behind the camera does.

Bill Treadway said...

Too bad we can't digitally insert Renee Zellweger into Vertigo itself. Kim Novak was such a bad actress and even Hitch couldn't get much out of her.

Lisa Draski said...

I know, seriously! She was so, so bad. Zellweger seriously acts better in a still photo than Novak did in the whole movie.