It's helpful that Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) is so articulate when she describes her relationship with Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones). But it's also acutely disconcerting.
“He wants to get inside me, in awful ways, to squeeze me out until there’s nothing left inside.” I suppose it’s helpful that Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) is so articulate—so poetic and so precise—when she describes her relationship with her director, Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones). But it’s also acutely disconcerting, that she is so able to maintain her self-awareness amid a series of abuses and threats during the two films she makes with him, The Birds and Marnie. You always knew there was something dreadful about these two movies—the aggressions against her, by all manner of fowl and Sean Connery—and HBO’s The Girl offers some detail (based on Donald Spoto’s Hitchock books, including Spellbound By Beauty: Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies (2008). In this version of Hitch (as he invites his new mentee to call him), he is calculating and also unnervingly out-of-control, admired and cruel. He torments Hedren on the set in front of everyone, has her endure attacks by real birds for five days in order to obtain the genuine terror on her face in the notorious Birds attic scene. He also leans in too close, pesters her with stories about cocks, invites her to touch his, paws her and bullies her, all, he says, to make her a great movie star. “There’s only so much I can teach you through kindness,” he explains.