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

  • Chocolate Treats and Truffles: A Chocolate Lover’s Delight

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Chocolate Treat and Truffles, held at the world renowned International Culinary Center in lower Manhattan, a four hour intensive that focuses on the fine art of creating mouth watering, indulging, sinfully delicious chocolate confectionary treats!

     
  • OSCAR Nominees React: Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Naomie Harris, Michelle Williams, Viggo Mortensen, Isabelle Huppert

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LION, Moonlight, Elle, and Captain Fantastic, such diverse stories, as a boy is lost, a young man struggles to find life, a woman assaulted, with vengeance, hunts for the attacker and parents deeply isolate themselves to raise a family.

     
  • HL Paris Fashion Week: Ziad Nakad Fall Winter Collection - Feminine, Sensual, Elegant

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ziad Nakad debuted his Fall/Winter Collection 2016/2017 formal wear collection during Paris Fashion Week, Ready-to-Wear, which stands as a tribute to the audacious and powerful woman; a woman of character, the woman affirmed in its brilliance, free to dress boldly, provocatively, sexy.

     
  • Beltway Insider: G-7 Leaders Present United Agenda; U.S. Ukraine Pledge Loyalty; May Job Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and the leaders of the G-7 met this week to discuss Climate, Food Scarcity, Energy, and Terrorism issues central to all nations in the search for solutions to these long term concerns that erode mankind's hope and the pursuit of betterment.

     
  • stARTup Art Fair Returns To SanFran’s Hotel Del Sol For 4th Year With Over 80 Artists

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    stARTup Art Fair is pleased to present its fourth annual San Francisco edition to take place April 27 - April 29, 2017 at the Hotel Del Sol in the Marina District, transforming the hotel into a contemporary art experience.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama, Economic Chief Pitch EOY Fiscal Cheer; WH Presses UI Extension; Claire Davis Dies; ObamaCare Deadlines

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, feeling the heat this week as he was grilled by the White House Press Corps over his EOY account, remained upbeat while all polls and confidence indicators suggest he is closing the year at the lowest point of his Presidency.

     
  • Kyocera's New Electric Salt & Pepper Mill Review – Effortless; Upgrade Your Home Dining Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kyocera international, of Kyoto Japan, a well-known and established name in luxury cookware, cutlery and kitchenware, has recently launched handheld Electric Mill, used for grinding fresh pepper, salt and spices into the grade, from fine to coarse, of choice.

     
  • Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa Review - 12 Reasons It Tops the Family Friendly Luxury List

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Sonoran Desert has a beauty all its own and, with the McDowell Mountains as a stunning backdrop, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch is great for vacationers to experience what the American Southwest offers.

     
  • Massive Winter Storm Jonas Expected to Dump Historic Snow Along East Coast Corridor

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A perfectly formed Nor'Easter is expected to pummel the East Coast with blizzard conditions, record breaking snowfalls, and whipping winds, subzero temperatures, whiteouts, and icy roads are expected as the weather gradually worsens throughout Friday into the weekend.

     
  • McQueen Review - A Four Star Fashionista Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    McQueen, from Bleecker Street, presents the rags to riches story of iconic Fashion Designer Alexander "Lee" McQueen, whose unbelievable journey could never have been imagined bringing him from his working class East London home to the House of Givenchy.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Addresses EU Crisis; Assad, Russia; Drug War; Budget; China Cyber Spying

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama issued a Presidential Determination this week identifying 22 countries as Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries, the designation does not stop foreign aid, address counter-narcotics assistant or identify relationships necessary to U.S. Interests.

     
  • Cannes Film Festival to Pay Tribute to Robert De Niro with a Hands of Stone Special Screening

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hands of Stone, from The Weinstein Company, presents Robert De Niro in a role that already has insiders buzzing about the possibility of a golden season for one of the most revered and legendary actors in film history.  

  • Hey, You're That Guy: Actor, Comedian John Ennis

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hollywood has launched a thousand careers, and among them are the many extremely talented character actors and comedians we’ve watched for years and whose nuanced performances knock us on our asses every time we see them. Just the sight of them elicits responses like, “Hey, I love that guy! Wasn't he in that one movie? You know the one. What is that guy's name?”

     
  • PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser Review – Dream Skin Is A Month Away

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    PaloVia® Skin Renewing Laser® the only FDA-cleared, at-home laser clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, once only available to the few is now available to the masses.

     
  • SICARIO Review – Explosive, Gripping, A High Octane Rush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    SICARIO, from Lionsgate and Black Label Media, presents an explosive, high tech contemporary thrill ride deep into the billion dollar narco trade, with stunning action, edgy dialogue, challenging circumstances and a high body count, where the enemy is ruthless, hidden and everywhere.