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Final Portrait - Film Review

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by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published October 27th 2017
Art For Art's Sake
Cinema, movie, art
The movie poster (image from website)


Based on a true story of James Lord sitting for a Giacometti portrait in 1964 Paris Final Portrait has been playing in cinemas throughout Australia since early October. We are taken into the studio of Italian Swiss sculptor/painter Alberto Giacometti as he struggles to create the perfect portrait of his friend. The promised couple of hours stretch into 19 days during which time Lord continues to change his travel plans as he is drawn into the creative web.

Artist, art. painting, portrait
Portrait of Alberto-Giacometti, (etching by Jan Hladík, 2002) Image from Wikipedia


The tone of the film is quite dark and muted colours are used to effect by the writer/director Stanley Tucci. There are a few moments of lightness but mostly we sense the frustration of those involved in the creative process. Geoffrey Rush is amazing as the difficult, obstinate & troubled Giacometti. It is interesting that the perfectionism that is applied to his art does not carry over to his chaotic confused living conditions and relationships. The bemused portrait subject, James Lord, is played with delicate restraint by Arnie Hammer. One senses his curiosity about the project and the life of the artist and his ultimate exasperation as he can see no way out.

Actor, movie, art, cinema, Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush (image from Wikipedia


This movie would not be to everyone's taste, the story is slow to develop as is 'the portrait' and the hand-held camera work could be disconcerting for some watchers. I enjoyed the movie and left wanting to know more about James Lord and the Giacometti brothers. My husband was less impressed as he is not a fan of this style of movie but he liked the story and the performances of the actors.
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Why? You are interested in the process of art
When: Check local cinema for screening times
Where: At a cinema near you
Cost: Depends on the cinema
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by Lauralee Evans on 02/10/2017
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