In 1964, while on a short trip to Paris, the American writer and art-lover James Lord (Armie Hammer) is asked by his friend, the world-renowned artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), 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 an offbeat friendship, but, seen through the eyes of Lord, an insight into the beauty, frustration, profundity and, at times, downright chaos of the artistic process. FINAL PORTRAIT is a 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.
According to the website of the art auction house Christie's, the portrait of James Lord sold in November 2015 for $20,885,000. Painted in 1964, it was 45 ¾ x 31 ¾ in. The painting was called "James Lord." Christie's writes: "The result of this intense exchange between Giacometti and James Lord, the artist and his sitter, is a superb head whose eyes flash the penetrating gaze of a Byzantine icon, a seated figure that displays the assertive presence of an Egyptian pharaoh, and a lambent corona of silvery grey paint that projects the aura of a Christ en gloire, en majesté." See more »
In 1964, I was a young writer living in Paris. I had written a few articles about Alberto Giacometti, who was one of the most accomplished and respected artists of his generation. I had become good friends with Giacometti and his brother, Diego. And one day, after an exhibition, he asked me to sit for a portrait. He told me it would take no longer than two to three hours. An afternoon at the most.
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Written by Ali Boudrahem, Benedicte Grimault, Jean-Francois Jeannin, David Lewis and Manohisoa Razanajato
Published by Universal Music Publishing MGB Ltd
Performed by Paris Combo
Courtesy of Polydor Records (France)
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd See more »
I understand that there are people that may have problems with this movie. It can be a frustrating movie to watch. But it can also be, funny, exasperating and sad. The acting is great. I don't place a judgement on the artist's behavior. He was as he was. This movie is about the artistic process, and the collaboration in that process. It can be tedious, chaotic and at times mesmerizing. It reminded me of a few of my friends who are artists. They truly do see the world in a different way, and at times you just have to go with it.
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