The best way to look at this movie is not as the story of Alfred Hitchcock making Psycho. This movie is about what it was like to be married to Alfred Hitchcock while he was making Psycho. While Helen Mirren receives second billing behind Anthony Hopkins, she is very much in the foreground as Alma, the woman behind the Master of Suspense through much of his career, and it is her performance that carries this movie.
Making a film about Howard Hughes is quite a challenge, given that the man was largely an enigma even to those who knew him best. How do you tell the story about who struggled to hide his numerous demons and lived the last few decades of his life in virtual seclusion from the world? Director Martin Scorcese wisely chose to concentrate on the part of his life that was lived in the public eye but that is also part of the weakness of The Aviator. The facts presented here are well known to those familiar with the life of Howard Hughes and don’t really offer an incisive look at the private man.