Film Review: Final Portrait

Review by Dash Wilson.

Written and directed by acclaimed-actor Stanley Tucci, Final Portrait tells the story of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) and the few weeks that American Art Critic James Lord (Armie Hamer) spent with him in Paris, 1964. Giacometti is a sculptor, painter and draftsman who decides when it is time to work, drink or visit the nearby bistro. While a brilliant artist who fetches record prices, Giacometti is also highly neurotic, distracted and constantly arguing with his wife (Sylvie Testud).

The film, shot by Danny Cohen BSC (The King’s Speech)on an budget that most films use on the make-up department, is clearly a passion project for Tucci. Geoffrey Rush rarely gives a poor performance and Final Portrait is no different. The issue however isn’t any of the performances. The issue is the screenplay. The film looks great and feels arty but ultimately it feels meaningless and quite frustrating to watch. I get that the point of the film is probably to reflect the scattered mind of the artist on screen but there is a difference between art and entertainment. Not a lot happens for the films entire ninety minute running time and by the end of it, you are really just thankful it’s over.

Ultimately, Final Portrait almost feels like a cross between a high school film project and a sub-par Woody Allen film. This film significantly lacks entertainment value and just feels like it’s trying too hard to be ‘arthouse’.  It is aptly directed and Geoffrey Rush is great but I hate to say it:  Stanley, maybe just stick to The Devil Wears Prada.

Reviewed at the 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Review by Dash Wilson.

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