Derek Winnert


This article was written on 20 Aug 2017, and is filled under Uncategorized.

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Final Portrait *** (2017, Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Clémence Poésy, James Faulkner, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvie Testud) – Movie Review

Writer-director Stanley Tucci tells the quirky, amusing and strangely compelling story of world-renowned Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) and the American writer and art-lover James Lord (Armie Hammer) he asks to sit for a portrait while on a short trip to Paris in 1964.

It’s going to be a brief gig, just taking a couple of afternoons. Yeah, right!

As Giacometti was obsessed with the human head, Tucci’s film gazes endlessly at the marvellous work of art that Hammer’s head is. Meanwhile Rush does his usual eccentric, grand style scene-stealing, and Hammer has to play elegant straight man. Both men do it very well indeed.

Clémence Poésy, James Faulkner, Tony Shalhoub and Sylvie Testud also pop in but it’s entirely Rush and Hammer’s show. Of course the acting is good, Tucci wouldn’t have it any other way. It is virtually all confined to the single set of the untidy artist’s studio. It could easily be a stage play. It doesn’t play much like a movie at all. Meanwhile, Tucci ‘s script is intelligent, thoughtful and touching.

The film is a delight. A small one, maybe, but definitely a delight none the less. Facts are learnt, ideas are tossed around, and feelings are explored. Appropriately, the film is quite arty, but in a good way. Like James Lord, you end moving past usual responses and up wishing it all would never quite end.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Movie Review

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