Final Portrait, B
Rated R, 91 minutes
The unassuming yet compelling "Final Portrait" tells the story between a troubled but genius artist and an American art lover. Directed and written by actor Stanley Tucci ("The Devil Wears Prada"), it's a bittersweet, well-acted look at art and the relationships that come from them.
In Paris 1964, famed painter Alberto Giacometti (Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush, excellent) bumps into his old friend James Lord ("Call Me by Your Name's" Armie Hammer), an American critic, and asks him to be a model for his latest portrait in his studio for a couple of days. Flattered by the request, Lord complies and as the days turn into weeks, he realizes his entire life has been wasted by this erratic genius. Jumping between joy and frustration, Lord finally sees logic in Giacometti's artistic but chaotic vision and witnesses the genius complete one of his last masterpieces.
Handsomely filmed and slow-moving, it's really a series of conversations about art, life and much more, between famed artist Giacometti, and writer Lord, who would later write books about the artist. It's a quietly moving and absorbing film that's not for everyone, but you'll find some great acting here, not to mention some wonderful art pieces.
The film has a terrific performance from Rush as the erratic Giacometti; Rush has the artist's look down as well as many of his mannerisms and tics, perfectly imbuing the life of a brilliant but occasionally troubled artist. Hammer is also solid as the American who forged an unconventional friendship with Giacometti, as is "Monk's" Tony Shaloub as Alberto's younger brother Diego.
"Final Portrait" isn't a complete biography itself, as it doesn't cover all of Giacometti's life; the piece we see here is near the end of his life, but we see enough to know what kind of artist and man he was and the legacy he left. Worth a look for art-lovers.