In 1964, while on a short trip to Paris, the American writer and art-lover James Lordis asked by his friend, the world-renowned artist Alberto Giacometti, to sit for a portrait. The process, Giacometti assures Lord, will take only a few days. Flattered and intrigued, Lord agrees.
So begins not only the story of a touching and offbeat friendship, but, seen through the eyes of Lord, a uniquely revealing insight into the beauty, frustration, profundity and, at times, downright chaos of the artistic process. FINAL PORTRAIT is a bewitching portrait of a genius, and of a friendship between two men who are utterly different, yet increasingly bonded through a single, ever-evolving act of creativity. It is a film which shines a light on the artistic process itself, by turns exhilarating, exasperating and bewildering, questioning whether the gift of a great artist is a blessing or a curse.
What We Thought:
I’m not familiar with the artist Alberto Giacometti so I can’t tell you how accurate Final Portrait is. Armie Hammer and Geoffrey Rush give good performances, but I don’t think I took away too much from the film.
Hammer plays an American reporter who is asked by Rush (who plays Giacometti) to sit down so he can paint his portrait. Days go by and the two bond yet get frustrated at the process. Hammer’s character must shift his schedule around. Rush isn’t happy with his work.
That is pretty much the entire movie. It’s right around an hour and a half long, but feels much longer. Even though the performances are solid, not much happens and you’re left wondering who this movie is for. Is Alberto Giacometti a big name that more people know about? I don’t claim to know much about the art world, but I can’t see this having much of an audience.
Sure it’s the type of film that isn’t supposed to be a blockbuster, but without award buzz, will anyone watch it? Hammer has a good following and it is directed by Stanley Tucci, but will anyone besides their fans care?
Final Portrait is a film you watch and if you have no idea who these people are, you kind of forget all about it shortly afterwards. There’s nothing wrong with the film, the acting is good and Tucci’s direction is perfectly fine, but the subject matter just didn’t do much for me.
Bonus Materials Include:
- Interview clips from the cast and filmmakers
- Behind the scenes footage from the set