Final Portrait: DVD Review
A sort of Waiting for Godot piece about a man getting a portrait painted by a master, Final Portrait requires a bit of patience and a lot of goodwill to see it through.
Hammer plays James Lord, who's been asked by Geoffrey Rush's Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti if he can paint his portrait in 1964 Paris. Flattered by the offer and on holiday in France, Lord agrees expecting it to be a few days at most.
However, Giacometti's eccentric style and the fact he's distracted by muse and prostitute Caroline (Poesy) means nothing goes according to plan.
Final Portrait may appeal to those who appreciate the artist and what they go through, but with an occasionally stultifying pace, it's punishing at times for those expecting anything other than sedate.
Thankfully, both Hammer and Rush inhabit their characters well and while Hammer's Lord is a little prim and proper, he eventually gives way to some cracks later on in the film and you see his patience crumble.
More impressive is Rush who makes his eccentric maestro frustratingly approachable and a character worth watching. Gradual tics and dismissive doubts plague Giacometti and it's intriguing to watch it unspool, even if it is punishing to bear at times.
Ultimately, while Tucci's eye for the arts leads to some bizarre directorial choices (jerky cam movements seem at odds with the subject matter), his desire to present the artist and their method of work is actually canny in places.
Final Portrait isn't one for everyone, and while it's a frustrating experience at times thanks to its real depth of character study, those who appreciate the arts may appreciate some of the insights on show here.