Thursday, April 19, 2018

[Review] Final Portait

Geoffrey Rush and Armie Hammer are the oddly dynamic pair in Final Portrait. It's an engrossing exhibit of an eccentric artist at work, as well as an adroit rumination on friendship.

Set in Paris during the 1960s, Rush plays famed sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti. He's blunt and unhinged. Seemingly miserable at times, friendly and humorous at others. Early on, he latches onto American journalist James Lord (played by Armie Hammer) and asks him to pose for a painting. But what was supposed to be a two-hour project turns into a month long endeavor -- as the artist's work is never complete until he's satisfied (not to mention all the wine and smoke breaks). Of course, James has other obligations, but he just can't seem to pull himself away.

Directed by Stanley Tucci, Final Portrait unfolds as a unique meeting of minds. On paper, I know it doesn't sound like the most thrilling premise (like watching paint dry, right?). But as the film progresses it becomes an increasingly fascinating character study, demonstrating some keen development and stellar interplay between the two leads. The performances are superb, especially Rush as he becomes the main driving force, soaking into a startlingly lived-in rendition of the erratic artist.

There's some really great and provocative dialogue throughout too, like this quote from Alberto when asked about suicidal thoughts: "It's not like I feel life is bad. It's just that I think death must be the most fascinating experience, you know?" And this exchange: "A real friend should tell me that I should give up painting forever." And James slyly responds, "Whoever said I was a real friend?" But the most memorable line of all might be when Alberto utters a flustered "Oh fugggg" whenever he messes up a small brush stroke.

Final Portrait has a lot to say about the creative process, attention to detail, the idea of perfection, and unorthodox bonds, and as deep as it goes into that stuff -- it's really a solid buddy comedy at heart.

( 7/10 )

Be sure to Like Fade to Zach on Facebook!
And Follow me on Twitter: @Fade_to_Zach

No comments:

Post a Comment