Final Portrait Review - A Masterclass Production

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Final Portrait, from Sony Picture Classics, presents the story of the creative process of Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti and art lover James Lord and how the two were brought together in the Paris Art Renaissance.

Directed and written by Stanley Tucci, Final Portrait stars Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Tony Shalhoub, Sylvie Testud and Clemence Poesy.

Final Portrait begins with James Lord, played by Armie Hammer, talking on the phone explaining his relationship to Alberto Giacometti, played by Geoffrey Rush, how they met a decade earlier and Alberto asked him to sit for him for a portrait, and he indicated it could be completed in a short amount of time.

The next day James Lord, who was a noted writer and was able to socialize in artist circles as he had a friendship with Pablo Picasso and his then mistress Dora Maar, was on his way to the studio of Giacometti's studio.


Celebrity Interview: Talking with Dennis Quaid on the Making of I Can Only Imagine


A man of few words, Giacometti's single note recognition of any statement seemed to be the only moments when inflection was clear without texture or double meanings. And today his impeccably dressed and well kept friend who accepted his invitation to sit for him is arriving.

Day One of the portrait odyssey begins with Giacometti, who disheveled appearance seem to spill over into all areas of his life, puttering about, stopping to re-mold a statue, to find a canvass, to sit Lord in just the right place.

And so it began. With day one an enchanting, eye-opening experience to the creative process, we find as with James Lord, who expected the process to take three days, maybe four, the creative process for a master artist has levels with near perfection apparently the only attainable for one of Giacometti's level.

Soon, as the sitting begins to take on a life of its own with the outside world often interjecting itself as Giacometti's mistress/prostitute, Caroline, played by Clemence Poesy, shows up wanting a car.

Showing a rare smile, his obvious rapturous feelings of genuine happiness and joy, pleased that she was so happy, even as his wife, the long-suffering Annette Giacometti, couldn't ignore how she made him feel.

With the chaos of the outside world often imposing on the creative process, the sitting time would be short on some days, longer on the others, with Giacometti often wanting Lord to walk with him, musing over the world, art, lunch, often accompaied by a stroll through the cemetery.

Approaching a week, then ten days, we see the relationship is facing some frustration, as the invitation initially came as Lord was leaving Paris in a few days, and as the creative process continues to lengthen without what the artist considers a completed work, Lord's annoyance is turning into uncompleted creative anxiety.

They continue to meet twelve days, fourteen days, with an uncompleted work looming and to the naked untrained eye the portrait is completed and to the artist "the more one works on a picture the more impossible it become to finish it," Giacometti said.

Exasperation. Sixteen days, seventeen, Giacometti's studio is trashed. Caroline's pimps want more money. So James and Alberto head over to the local bar and pay them in a tense negotiation. Priceless works broken, his brother and assistant Diego, played by Tony Shalhoub, working to clean up the mess.

Eighteen days. Finally, James explains as Alberto pauses prepared to white out the entire completed work, how perfect the portrait looked.

Soon Alberto, Diego and James were all looking at the portrait with the two men, who seemed to secretly want him to stay around, attempting to convince him it was just taking shape. It would soon be complete. To no avail. James left for New York that day. The portrait also.

I really enjoyed Final Portrait. Not simply for the stage like quality, as it could easily be a play. Final Portrait, was attracting to me on multiple levels, the absorption into the creative process. It's complex simplicity. The willingness to abandon oneself to the process, whatever it is, whether it be sculpting, painting or writing. Or was it The Parisian Renaissance the time when in the 1960's when society was awakening and passion to express oneself, especially in a city known for freedom.


Isle Of Dogs Review – Magical; Heartwarming; Stunning Animation


For many reason, and yes the actors, Geoffrey Rush, who is masterclass to watch, the subtilties of his acknowledgments, his affirmative murmurs speaking volumes and of course Armie Hammer, who had to take the audience on his emotional journey without expression as sitting for a portrait is expressionless. Each volley with strength, with the simplest of gestures.

The supporting cast Tony Shalhoub, Sylvie Testud, and Clemence Posey each bring these layers to the relationship adding colors and balance almost tethering the unharnessed creative talent of Alberto. They hold him, so he doesn't get lost and is free to create.

Director Stanley Tucci is able to extract from his actors the ability to emote volumes with strength with no words. Final Portrait is an actors film, one to see to observe.

Final Portrait is a great film. It opens March 23, 2018. See it.

Haute Tease

  • Leftovers Review – Shocking Statistics, One of the Most Important Documentaries of 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Leftovers, from Uncorked Entertainment, presents a shocking and informative documentary detailing, from the wealthiest American neighborhoods to the poorest, the plague of senior hunger and how organizations are combating the astonishing wasteful practices in food production.

     
  • Top Christmas Beers You Need to Try This Season

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    <

    The winter holidays are an extra special time of year for beer lovers. It's the time of year when brewers around the world pull out all the hops, creating special brews that circulate for a limited time only.  

  • Money News: Top Global Markets Close Down; Shanghai Rallies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, fell to the bear and closed the trading week down with stinging triple digit losses as the Wall Street mauling carried over into the top ten global markets with records highs and strong performances erased across the European and Asian Markets.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Returns to WH; ISIS Hit; Global Violence Erupts; Macedonia; Hurricane Katrina

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama returned from his annual vacation renewed and ready to lobby for the passage of the historic Iranian nuclear deal that has been subject to intense scrutiny and debate from Senate members, candidates, lobbyists and pundits.

     
  • Pope Francis Begins His Historic Visit; Defines Edicts For the 1.2Billion Roman Catholics

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pope Francis arrived yesterday in Washington D.C. greeted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle, His Excellency opted for a more conservative Italian manufactured Fiat, as he began his six day visit in America.

     
  • CES 2016: Smart Cars Debut Preview Future of the High Tech Automobile

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    There is no better place to witness the future of the automotive industry than at CES. Held annually in Las Vegas, CES, or the Consumer Electronics Show, is the largest event in the consumer electronics industry, with over 170,000 attendees.  

  • DreamWorks SKG presents The Help – A Riveting Journey of Change

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    THE HELP, a deeply moving journey through 1960’s Mississippi, from DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment recently previewed for members of the media on the Walt Disney Studio Lot in Burbank, California.

     
  • Manhunt Continues in Upstate New York Prison Break

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Residents in the tiny town of Dannemora, New York, remain on edge as two violent prisoners, in a daring escape from the maximum security Clinton Correctional facility have managed to elude capture for a second consecutive day.

     
  • Akiko Ogawa Spring Collection - An Expression of Art in Clothing

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Akiko Ogawa, the talented Tokyo designer made her second appearance at New York's IMG Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week showcasing her 2008 Spring/Summer Collection invoking visions of 1960's America, the explosion of color, and the Culture of Change.

     
  • Making Montgomery Clift Review - A Reveling Documentary Filled with Hollywood Secrets, Lies and Truth

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Making Montgomery Clift, from The Film Collaborative, brings to the screen the story of Montgomery Clift the 1950's Hollywood matinee idol, one of the new leading men who showed strength and weakness, with a hidden tragic secret.

     
  • Interview: Kevin Roundtree, Mr. Mom, Business Manager, Dad

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Actress and baby model, Kaleah Roundtree is making waves as she and her business manager father Kevin, an African American Mr. Mom, and Dad, begin a new push in the talented toddlers' career.

     
  • Luke Perry Talks On A Swedish Midsummer Sex Comedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A SWEDISH MIDSUMMER SEX COMEDY, the light-hearted journey into an endless summer night gone seriously awry, from Coso Nova Films and Elan Entertainment has recently been released, in the United States, for the Home Entertainment Market.

 

Login Form