The mind of an artist must be a wonder to behold. We have all heard the stories of great artist who lost their mind and you have to wonder if the two go hand and hand. I am sure I am just generalizing and there are plenty of artists out there who are quite sane. The only artist minds I have to go off of are the one I see in films because let’s face it crazy and different sell. The latest mind we are given a peek into is that of Alberto Giacometti’s in Stanley Tucci’s “Final Portrait”.
This is not another cradle to the grave story, no instead Tucci and writer James Lord focus on a moment in time at the end of artist Giacometti’s life as told by Lord’s interaction with Giacometti during a self-portrait session. Lord (Armie Hammer) is finishing up business in Paris when he is offered to have a portrait done, something that he believes will only take a few hours. What Lord finds out rather quickly is that Giacometti’s life is rather complicated and that a portrait can take longer than he expected. As the days and even weeks pass by, Lord is forced after rescheduling his trip home to finally set an end date for his sitting. During the weeks Lord spends time with Giacometti where they often take walks and have conversations about art and life. Everything though is not as pleasant as Lord also finds himself in the middle of Giaometti’s (Geoffery Rush) love life ,which includes a wife who feels neglected and a younger woman named Caroline ( Clémence Poésy) who you could argue is his latest muse. All together this is a remarkable time for Lord who would go on to write a book and this highly entertaining movie.
There is something very charming about this movie, and thankfully the reasons are many. For one it the time and the place as Paris in the sixties is overflowing with beauty. The other reason is Armie Hammer who almost seems a little too perfect playing Lord opposite the living legend that is Geoffrey Rush. What “Final Portrait” becomes is a film that is hard not to enjoy with these two stellar performers playing off each other so well. Something that also helps the film is the feeling you get while watching it as you can’t help to feel the personality of its co-writer Stanley Tucci who also directs the film for good measure. Both the subject matter and the setting feel very personal and it shows with almost every image on the screen. I really enjoyed this one as it’s brisk run time and storyline bring plenty of grins and chuckles throughout the film. On top of that we get to see Rush at the top of his game, something that is always a pleasure to see. If you love the beauty of creation, this is the movie for you as it just feels good to see something brought into this world with as much passion as any other work of art can do.