In 1920’s Paris Young American writer James Lord (Arnie Hammer) meets and agrees to sit for a new portrait by famed artist and sculptor Alberto Giacometti. In what he’s assured will only take a few days, he will have both his ardour and patience tested as he is absorbed into the relentlessly, endearing ramshackle world of Giacometti.
…Rush’s ebullient Giacometti lives and breathes his art.
In a delightful, slow-paced drama from actor turned director Stanley Tuuci, Oscar-winner Jeffrey Rush completely embodies the famous artist. Beset with inner doubt and dependant upon the charms of those around him, Rush’s ebullient Giacometti lives and breathes his art. “No painting is ever finished” he reveals to his sitter. Armie Hammer (in a nice change of pace for the American actor) commendably underplays the part of James Lord to let the other cast members shine around him so as to create a satisfying whole.
As considered as befits Giacometti’s artistry, this production looks sumptuously untidy with a beautifully measured light by cinematographer Danny Cohen. Scattered around the principal sets, Giacometti’s wife (Sylvie Testud), brother (Tony Shalhoub) and mistress (Clémence Poésy) all ricochet off one another in a sensitively effective portrait of the mercurial Italian master.
If you’re looking for a quality and considered drama that fully justifies its title, Stanley Tucci’s affectionate ‘Final Portrait’ is it. Take a seat and get comfortable, as from behind his easel, Rush’s understated Giacometti sweeps you up into a world of genius fuelled by doubt.