Final Portrait

"Good"

Final Portrait Review


A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply well-made film feels somewhat slight, with only a wisp of a plot. But the characters are so vivid that it's thoroughly engaging, and it's written and directed by Stanley Tucci with a terrific attention to detail. So even if the plot itself barely seems to have enough fuel to keep moving, there are constant bits of comedy, drama and emotion to hold the interest.

It's set in 1964 Paris, where journalist James Lord (Armie Hammer) agrees to sit for a portrait with Alberto (Geoffrey Rush), who says it will only take a day or two. But Alberto doesn't work very quickly, painting then repainting while constantly being distracted by his favourite muse, the prostitute Caroline (Clemence Poesy). His wife Annette (Sylvie Testud) barely tolerates this, while his brother Diego (Tony Shalhoub) just shrugs it off as he assists Alberto around the studio. James watches all of this with a smirk, then becomes a little worried as days stretch into weeks and he begins to understand that for Alberto this painting will never be completed. Indeed, he never sees any of his work as ready to show to the world.

Anchored by one of Rush's best performances yet, the film is a wonderful depiction of Giacometti's artistic process, watching him produce his work with only his own inner voice to guide him. Rush plays him as a man who never lets a moment of pleasure pass him by, and everything he does is based on spontaneous impulse. So the people around him need the patience of a saint. The wry Hammer is a terrific foil for the blustering Rush, sitting with a bemused smile watching the chaos unfold around him while wondering how he can extricate himself from this situation without ruffling the artist's feathers.

Tucci also remembers to deepen the side roles. Shalhoub, Poesy and Testud all have solid moments of their own, including telling interaction with Alberto as they grapple with their own issues. But it's not an easy film to get a grip on, especially since it looks almost fantastical. Giacometti's studio is oppressively cluttered and dark, like a set from a Harry Potter movie. This grubby, colour-drained design may reflect his artwork, but it jars alongside the film's otherwise brightly comical tone. Fortunately, the characters are so colorfully written and played that they can't help but win us over.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Production compaines: Potboiler Productions, Riverstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Nik Bower, Gail Egan, Ilann Girard

Starring: as Alberto Giacometti, as James Lord, as Caroline, as Diego Giacometti, as Pierre Matisse, as Annette Arm

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.