Strictly on a hired-gun basis, Martin Scorsese has directed a nine-minute Hitchcock homage-cum-wine advertisement called The Key to Reserva. It stars Simon Baker (The Devil Wears Prada) and is somewhere between not half bad and fairly good — witty, amusing, well-shot. Then again, Brian DePalma used to make entire films in this vein in the ’70s and ’80s.
With Bernard Herrmann‘s North by Northwest music playing throughout, it uses classic bits from The 39 Steps, the 1955 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window, North by Northwest and, at the very end, The Birds.
The funniest part is a preface in which Scorsese explains to an interviewer (who strongly resembles Ted Griffin, the Ocean’s 11 and Matchstick Men screenwriter) that the short is based upon three pages of a script for a Hitchcock film that was never shot. The hyper, over-caffeinated Scorsese is half natural-Marty and half-“character.” Scorsese could play this guy in a weekly reality series about a hyper, over-caffeinated filmmaker going through various creative adventures, and I wouldn’t miss a segment.
A reader has compared The Key to Reserva to Wes Anderson‘s American Express commercial from a couple of years back. I prefer Anderson’s because it’s about its own here-and-now (i.e., here-and-then) thing. Then again, I love the mania that led to Scorsese dressing an Eva Marie Saint-like actress in the exact same evening dress that Saint wears in North by Northwest.
Reserva is a Spanish wine produced by the Friexenet company, one of the giant Cava houses in Catalonia, Spain, that produces natural sparkling wine.