Over time, great individuals can attain such a level of public adoration that any sort of criticism leveled against them is treated as sacrilege, whether they be Abe Lincoln, Mother Teresa, or a Beatle not named Ringo. Naturally, that inspires a certain kind of person to take dead aim at such sacred cows, not necessarily because he wants to tear these people down—although that can be part of the appeal—but because he wants to offer a counterbalance to the endless canonization. It's important to have heroes, but if we can't see them as flesh-and-blood individuals—as human and flawed as the rest of us—how can we fully appreciate their greatness?
I assume that's the animating philosophy behind Hitchcock, the new film that offers a whimsical look at the master director and the creation of one of his greatest films, Psycho. On its surface, this comedy-drama would seem to be a timely corrective to the universal adulation for Alfred Hitchcock, whose Vertigo was recently selected as the greatest film of all time in the once-a-decade Sight & Sound critics poll. Even one of the world's greatest filmmakers had his share of foibles and failings, dark little corners of personality from which emerged some wonderful art, though not without a human cost. That would make for a pretty good movie—too bad Hitchcock isn't it.