Final Portrait

Out Now On-Demand

Geoffrey Rush is artist Alberto Giacometti in this comedy about his efforts to paint a portrait of an old friend, played by Armie Hammer.

"It is Paris in 1964 and Giacometti is a celebrated artist whose works are fetching extremely high prices. When he encounters his old friend, the American critic James Lord (Hammer), Giacometti asks him to sit for a portrait. Flattered, Lord agrees and changes his flight back home. But the chaos of Giacometti's studio and life takes over, from the large amounts of cash stashed in secret hiding places and constant arguments with his wife to a scandal involving his mistress. Giacometti, plagued by self-doubt, insists on frequent diversions, and Lord's flight is postponed again and again." (Sydney Film Festival)

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Drama, True Story & Biography

90mins

Rating: M Nudity, offensive language & sexual content

English, French and Italian with English subtitles

UK

Aaron-Yap2

Aaron Yap

flicks

“A couple of hours”, Swiss-Italian artist Alberto Giacometti says, estimating the time-frame it might take to complete a portrait of his latest subject, American writer and friend James Lord. It’s also the duration that Stanley Tucci’s film feels like, even though it comes in at a slim 90 minutes. Based on Lord’s book A Giacometti Portrait, Final Portrait avoids the usual biopic pitfalls, yet succumbs to the half-baked slightness that can plague talky, miniaturist chamber pieces. As such, the film (Tucci’s first in ten years) alternates shakily between two modes: instances of actorly delight, wryly tackling the exasperating nature of the artistic process, and crushing, stagey tedium, unable to offset the insistent feeling that there’s probably not enough material here for a feature-length movie.

Giacometti, of course, is a tailor-made showcase for Geoffrey Rush, who relishes every doddering, obnoxious, insufferable impulse of the chain-smoking painter-sculptor. Armie Hammer instills Lord with a bemused, respectful composure that grows funnier when we’re waiting for it to crack under the pressure of Giacometti’s eccentric demands. However, one can’t help but feel the film’s true strength lies in James Merifield’s production design, equally thorough in its atmospheric mounting of '60s Paris as it is the grimy, chaotic, airless milieu of Giacometti’s studio. The latter, with its crumbling walls, easel-strewn floors and unfinished sculptures, reinforces the Kafka-esque absurdity of the premise in a way that Rush’s clownish portrayal and the middling whimsy of Tucci’s direction fail to illuminate.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Makes for a narrative with little consistent forward momentum and an anticlimactic ending, though the film remains agreeable thanks largely to Rush's flavourful performance.

Screen International

press

This relatively concise passion project won't, in the end, stop viewers getting the cramps that come with much longer sittings.

Variety (USA)

press

In "Final Portrait," Stanley Tucci, directing his first film in 10 years, takes the biopic to an even more exquisitely homespun level of miniature close-up.

The Guardian (UK)

press

Stanley Tucci has created a very amusing, astringent chamber piece of a movie, performed with sympathy and wit by Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer.

Total Film (UK)

press

A stellar performance from Geoffrey Rush centres this diverting glimpse into the chaotic life of a great artist.

Empire (UK)

press

Sensibly dramatising a few representative days rather than Giacometti's whole life, this may seem slight, but there's a lot to dig into here - and Rush hasn't had a showcase this good in years.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...a subtle and low-key affair about the great Swiss-Italian artist Alberto Giacometti.

Sydney Morning Herald

press

Turns out watching paint dry can be fun.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

Weirdly feels both once over lightly and somewhat slow all at once.

Pathetic

So very disappointing.