The Girl [2012] (10/29/12)

The Girl [2012]Movie Two Hundred Forty Five

The Girl offers a look at the relationship between famed filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock, and Tippi Hedren.

While casting for his next big film, Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones) discovers a beautiful, blonde, young model by the name of Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller). Hitchcock and his wife, Alma (Imelda Staunton) hire Hedren and inform her that the next film will be Hitchcock’s biggest production yet, The Birds. Hitchcock slowly begins to obsess over Hedren and she continuously stops his sexual advances throughout the shooting of The Birds as well as Marnie.

The Girl, a made-for-TV movie that aired on HBO is based on the biographical works of Donald Spoto. Spoto apparently wrote a biography of Alfred Hitchcock while he was alive, but shortly after his death published a scathing, vindictive biography and then published the work that The Girl takes its material from. I only mention this because throughout The Girl, motives are inferred or implied that I simply was not able to connect the dots. In one particular scene, after Hedren has lost all her patience with Hitchcock’s advances, they are shooting the attic scene for The Birds. In what was supposed to be a day-long shoot with mostly fake birds, it stretches to five days and many real birds. Now, The Girl makes it seem that Hitchcock is doing this out of spite for Hedren not sleeping with him but I see it as a director not satisfied with the results of the shoot.

The attic scene was the point in The Girl where I really started questioning everything I was watching. I absolutely believe that Hitchcock had a creepy obsession with Hedren and probably did try to sleep with her even, but everything else seems exaggerated almost to the point of slander. It’s a shame too, because even if Hitchcock was torturing the poor actress for not sleeping with him, it’s presented in almost a villainous, comic book way. *shot of birds near a screaming, bloodied Hedren* *zoom in on Hitchcock’s face with an evil sneer, writhing his hands in enjoyment*

The plot of The Girl had me gripped for the beginning and even until the end, though by that point I was calling BS on almost everything shown. Even more gripping were the lead actors; Jones plays a great Hitchcock and surprisingly  Sienna Miller gives a fantastic performance. I’ve never been impressed by her work before, but she is definitely on my radar now. A few years back I felt bad for Jones because he was playing Truman Capote in a film around the same time that Philip Seymour Hoffman was and Hoffman was clearly superior. Now, he’s playing Hitchcock with Anthony Hopkins also playing Hitch in the upcoming film, Hitchcock. Time will tell who plays a better Hitchcock.

The Girl is not a bad movie, it just seems a bit misguided. Even if the source material was entirely true, the film isn’t terrifically interesting, though I still found it entertaining. Watch The Girl for the performances, but take everything else with a huge grain of salt.

I give it 3 Jones/Miller vs. Hitchcock/Hedren shots out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


26 responses to “The Girl [2012] (10/29/12)

  1. Been looking forward to this, think it hits over here around Christmas. Definitely think it’s gonna get overshadowed by the Hitchcock film though, especially as this is TV only. I think part of the problem with Hitch is that his legend is probably a little more interesting than the reality (although I’m in no doubt the reality was very interesting) so in stuff like this it gets ramped up to unbelievable levels. I’m sure the same will happen in the forthcoming film, too.

    • It’s likely the film will be equally embellished but it’s the way The Girl is shot/edited that makes it seem almost silly. If nothing else, I’m more curious about what Hitchcock will be like.

  2. I missed it when it played on HBO a while ago and was thinking about seeing it but now I think I’ll avoid it. Here’s to hoping that Hitchcock (the upcoming film) will be better! Nice review.

  3. Sienna Miller seems to like playing famous people from the past.
    I love Tippi Hendren, I may want to name my future daughter Tippi… Though I fear she may be picked on. Let’s hope she’s as pretty as the original.

    I haven’t seen this, but I probably will watch it one day. With a grain of salt.

  4. I’ve been on the fence about this one because I don’t know much about Hitchcock and have only ever seen bits of Psycho so wasn’t sure I’d be interested. Sienna Miller can be wonderful at times though…maybe I’ll catch it when it hits Netflix (or maybe see if it’s on HBO Go!)

    • If you don’t know much about Hitchcock then don’t let this film give you a lasting impression of him. Not that it makes the wrong impression of his character (it might, but I can’t be sure) it doesn’t give a good representation of his career.

  5. I’ve never been impressed with Miller either but I agree she was fantastic here. I felt that some of the stuff was bizarre too, the screenplay should have been more balanced and better developed – especially Hitchcock’s wife should have more scenes.

  6. Cool! I want to see this. It sounds interesting! I’m not sure how much I’m going to buy Sienna Miller, of all people, as Tippi Hedren, but I’d be curious enough. Sometimes train wreck try-hard performances are still entertaining, like her stint as Edie Sedgwick in “Factory Girl”. It was so hard not to watch it all go down. But, I’d be willing to give her a chance as Tippi. I never doubt HBO, or Jones. Very good write up. You have it on my radar is for sure.


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  9. I still have yet to see The Girl, but reaction has been mixed. Ditto for Anthony Hopkins version Hitchcock. However I really enjoyed that a lot more than I expected. I’d check it out as well when you get the chance. 🙂

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