"Colorful Portrait of a Disheveled, Immoral Personal Life"
Set in 1954, FINAL PORTRAIT follows the disheveled life of the artist Alberto Giacometti, as he works on a portrait of his friend James Lord, who wrote Alberto’s biography. Telling Lord that it will take a few days maximum to complete this painting, Alberto begins his work. Never satisfied with his ability, Giacometti immediately states that he will never be able to paint Lord in the way that he sees him and that the portrait will never be finished. So, they begin.
After a few hours of work, the artist concludes that enough work is done for the day. Soon after, a woman shows up at the studio, and Alberto seems to be completely smitten with her. They openly flirt and kiss, with his wife unhappily standing nearby. They leave and have a night out in Paris, eventually ending up in bed together.
The next day, Alberto and Lord begin their work again. Not long into the session, the artist exclaims loudly in dissatisfaction, completely unhappy with his work, stating that he can’t do anything right. He tells Lord he needs a few more days to work and asks him if he could possibly stay a few more days. Needing to leave to get back to New York, but also eager to finish the portrait, Lord agrees.
As the work proceeds, Alberto seems to get into a pattern of being unsatisfied with what he has done and the way he’s portraying Lord. He pleads with him to stay another week maximum, so that he gets the portrait done right.
Throughout his time posing for the artist, Lord is able to get a glimpse into the unstable life Alberto lives. He sees the prostitute Caroline bounce in and out of the artist’s life, leaving Alberto either full of life, or in a complete state of imbalance when she’s gone.
After almost an additional two weeks of painting, Lord begins to notice a pattern with the artist. As soon as the portrait is beginning to come together, Alberto becomes extremely unhappy with himself and his ability, and paints over his work to start again. Desperately in need to return home to New York, Lord decides he must manipulate the artist in a way to where he can really see how talented he is and how great the work is that he’s done.
FINAL PORTRAIT is based on recollections by James Lord, the author who experienced the artist and his neurosis first hand. Lord wrote acclaimed biographies of Giacometti and Picasso. Geoffrey Rush completely transforms for this role, becoming almost unrecognizable, not in appearance, but in character, as Giacometti. In the course of a few weeks in which the movie takes place, the viewer gets a first-hand look into the life of this artist. Since the movie takes place in the romantic city of Paris, and almost entirely set in Alberto Giacometti’s art studio, it’s easy for viewers immediately to feel a part of that world. Written and directed by actor Stanley Tucci, this biopic does true justice to the mad-professor artist.
That said, FINAL PORTRAIT contains a very high amount of questionable content, including lots of foul language, plus strong sexual content and explicit nudity. The tormented artist and his wife are anything but faithful to each other, and the infidelity does nothing but breed a terribly unhealthy marriage. Told with a Romantic worldview, FINAL PORTRAIT displays lots of moral relativism as the artist and other characters are driven by what feeds their feelings and happiness. Because of these elements, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
Set in 1954, FINAL PORTRAIT is based on the recollections of author James Lord as he spends many exhausting weeks posing for a portrait in the studio of acclaimed artist Alberto Giacometti. Constantly unsatisfied with his work, the job that was supposed to only take a few days, continues to extend into about three weeks. Alberto uses a prostitute for a muse and a lover, and Alberto seems unable to let go of his work. James has to convince Alberto of his talent, so they can finish the portrait, and he can finally return home to New York.
This biopic paints a picture of the life of this tortured artist. Directed by Stanley Tucci and starring Geoffrey Rush, the movie takes the viewer into this world. That said, FINAL PORTRAIT contains a high degree of questionable, immoral content. There are multiple examples of female nudity, including a visit by Alberto to a brothel to commit adultery, something which was a frequent occasion in his life. FINAL PORTRAIT also has plenty of foul language and a strong non-Christian, Romantic worldview. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.