THREE STARS A light hearted account of artist Alberto Giacometti and his portrait of a friend.
Starring Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer
PERIOD DRAMA #FINALPORTRAIT
Acclaimed character actor Stanley Tucci (THE HUNGER GAMES’ Caeser Flickerman) goes behind the camera to direct this charming portrait of acclaimed modern artist Alberto Giacometti (Rush) - he of the skinny, twisted, elongated human sculptures. It’s late in the man’s career and an American collector and friend (Hammer) agrees to pose for a portrait. Tucci slowly turns the camera away from the artist’s subject to paint a portrait of the artist himself: a simple yet effective device that illuminates both the process and the frustration borne by all participants. Giacometti is the epitome of self-doubt as his painting goes through many, many, many iterations. His involvement with a local prostitute doesn’t help, although suffering subject and long-suffering wife do find common space to air their grievances.
FINAL PORTRAIT is a modest piece but one that allows Rush to (ahem) shine in the role, as he offers up one of his best performances in years. There’s a wonderful balance of humour, pathos, virility, anger and regret that makes Giacometti both fascinating and exhausting. Rush is well served by Tucci, Hammer and fellow co-stars who each bring a lightness to their roles that support, without overwhelming, the main attraction. Although there’s a sense that there was enough material to turn this into an ‘inspired by’ ‘true story’ Oscar baiting ‘epic’, Tucci chose to create something more akin to a stage play – something much smaller yet more involving because of it. Despite a few narrative bumps, FINAL PORTRAIT is a portrait worth watching.