As a fan of all things 60s and Parisian, a trip to see Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait was a must. This cinematic piece showcases the eccentric arts scene of the era as Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti paints his final portrait.

Giacometti, played by Brisbane’s own Geoffrey Rush, has invited American critic James Lord (Armie Hammer) to sit for a portrait. After Giacometti assures Lord that the sitting will take an afternoon at the most, the flattered Lord gladly accepts, believing it will not affect his return flight to New York.

After many flight changes and afternoons at the easel, Giacometti confesses to Lord that a portrait can never be finished.

Viewers witness the artist’s self-doubt, despite his high-level of success at the time. The story deepens as we are introduced to Giacometti’s infidelities, struggles and eccentricities.

Tucci’s Final Portrait encapsulates the intense emotions and feelings of being both the artist and the subject. Witnessing Lord’s character sit for days as he is painted demonstrates the true physical pain on the other side of the easel, whileGiacometti’s demons come out to play.

Final Portrait is a very fitting piece for Giacometti’s story as viewers feel they are witnessing art via cinema. It was thought-provoking to see how a portrait may be created and to bear witness to what happens on both sides of the easel.

Although the filming style generally worked well, sometimes the erratic cinematography could be confusing and hard to watch. However, when the filming was more precise and still, it was beautiful to observe.

The film showcased the talent of the performers as Giacometti’s relationship with his wife decayed while the chemistry between him and his mistress flourished. The mutual respect between the artist and Lord was also beautiful to see as their connection grew during the portrait’s progress.

Tucci has earned his place as a film writer and director. Final Portrait keeps viewers entranced as Giacometti’s story unfolds, revealing his deepest secrets and desires, all while demonstrating his artistic capability.

Final Portrait is in theatres now.

Other readers enjoyed this review of Paris Can Wait here.

 

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