6.3/10
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32 user 112 critic

Final Portrait (2017)

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The story of Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

Director:

Stanley Tucci

Writers:

James Lord (adapted from his memoir "A Giacometti Portrait"), Stanley Tucci
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Geoffrey Rush ... Alberto Giacometti
Armie Hammer ... James Lord
Tony Shalhoub ... Diego Giacometti
Sylvie Testud ... Annette Giacometti
Clémence Poésy ... Caroline
James Faulkner ... Pierre Matisse
Kerry Shale ... Claude Mrtineau
Annabel Mullion ... Anne-Marie Frenaud
Tim Dreisden Tim Dreisden ... Café Waiter
Takatsuna Mukai Takatsuna Mukai ... Annette's Lover
Philippe Spall ... Pimp
Gaspard Caens Gaspard Caens ... Pimp
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maja Bloom Maja Bloom ... French Girl in the dream
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1964, Artist Alberto Giacometti Asked Writer James Lord To Sit For A Portrait. He Said It Woulkd Take Only One Day. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual references and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | Italian

Release Date:

23 March 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alberto Giacometti, the Final Portrait See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,472, 25 March 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$461,972, 21 June 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alberto Giacometti was born in Borgonovo, now part of the Switzerland municipality of Bregaglia, near the Italian border. He was a descendant of Protestant refugees escaping the inquisition. His brothers Diego and Bruno would go on to become artists as well. "Pointing Man" sold for $126 million, $141.3 million with fees, in Christie's May 11, 2015 Looking Forward to the Past sale in New York, a record for a sculpture at auction. The work had been in the same private collection for 45 years. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Armie Hammer/Nick Swardson (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Jazz A Gogo
Words and Music by Robert Gall and Alain Goraguer
Published by Editions Bagatelle / EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by France Gall
Courtesy of Polydor Records (France)
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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User Reviews

 
If you enjoy watching paint dry this is your film
9 October 2017 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

If you enjoy watching paint dry this is your film. Imagine an artist who is unable to finish a painting without needing to start again…and again. That is the basic premise of Final Portrait (2017). It's a bio-pic that looks into the idiosyncratic mind of renown Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) in a story so lacking in forward narrative that many will be left wondering why they watched it at all.

Based on real events, Final Portrait is an adaptation of a memoir by American writer James Lord (Armie Hammer) who is flattered when asked to pose for a portrait by Giacometti. Believing it may be a single session, it turns out to take almost three weeks of daily sittings. The artist lives amidst chaotic mess with a long-suffering wife who tolerates his obsession with a prostitute girlfriend. He hates banks; prefers to hide cash under his studio rubble; has few social filters; and is liked by all despite a tendency insult others. The portrait sessions are constantly interrupted by long walks, drinks at nearby bars, and frequent outbursts due to chronic perfectionism that ensures his works are never finished. He is unable to walk past his clay sculptures without making a change and some are so altered that they are reduced to stick figures. Lord's amused and bewildered fascination with the life of a creative genius keeps him cancelling his return flight to America just to see his final portrait.

The nineteen-day timeframe feels like the same event repeated nineteen times (mercifully, with some time compressions). Along the way, we watch the deeply etched face of the cantankerous Giacometti as he grimaces in self-rebuke, lusts after his girlfriend, and gazes deeply into the gaze of James Lord to search not for the look but the inner soul of another human being. If you can forgive Geoffrey Rush's Aussie-Swiss accent, there is much to admire in his characterisation of an angst-ridden artist. But it is also wearingly repetitive. Lord is the master's foil as the suited slick- back straight guy. Initially adrift in the world of an erratic painter, he is conservative and upright yet his vanity is drawn like a moth to the flame of genius, eager to understand Giacometti's creativity. While both play their part brilliantly, it is Geoffrey Rush who dominates the screen. The studio set is cluttered and claustrophobic, like the artist's mind, and the cinematography employs the shallow depth-of-field effect to dwell on detail, allowing sharply focused faces to peer between blurred works of art as if to say these are but points in time that will never find their final form.

There are clever ironies in watching a painter who studies his subject, while the subject studies the painter. It's a three-way mirror between audience, Rush and Lord. But such existential twists are not enough to elevate this film to a level of great meaning. Viewers enthralled by this field of art might enjoy the story but most others may struggle. It's like a moment in time that lasts nineteen weeks, then compressed into ninety minutes. There is little to look forward to as the ending has no more meaning than the beginning but is far more welcomed.


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