October 22, 2012 12:00 PM

>In HBO’s The Girl (Oct. 20), Alfred Hitchcock—Master of Suspense—masters no domain except a film set. As played by Toby Jones, the director is in a state of sadistic derangement over his lust for Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller), best known as the star of 1963’s The Birds. Jones, looking like a leaky balloon, is so monstrously pathetic, you pity Hitch instead of Hedren—which is odd, given that he punished her rejection by physically battering her with actual birds. The problem is a miscast Miller: For The Girl to work, the director’s perversity needs to come up against the actress’s desperate will to fight him off. Miller is believably blonde, and that’s about it. []

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