Final Portrait

Synopsis: In 1964, while on a short trip to Paris, the American writer and art-lover James Lord (Armie Hammer) is asked by his friend, the world-renowned artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), to sit for a portrait. The process, Giacometti assures Lord, will take only a few days. Flattered and intrigued, Lord agrees. So begins not only the story of an offbeat friendship, but, seen through the eyes of Lord, an insight into the beauty, frustration, profundity and, at times, downright chaos of the artistic process. FINAL PORTRAIT is a portrait of a genius, and of a friendship between two men who are utterly different, yet increasingly bonded through a single, ever-evolving act of creativity. It is a film which shines a light on the artistic process itself, by turns exhilarating, exasperating and bewildering, questioning whether the gift of a great artist is a blessing or a curse.
Director(s): Stanley Tucci
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

In 1964,

I was a young writer living in Paris.

I had written a few articles

about Alberto Giacometti,

who was one of the most accomplished

and respected artists of his generation.

I had become good friends with Giacometti

and his brother, Diego.

And one day, after an exhibition,

he asked me to sit for a portrait.

He told me it would take no longer

than two to three hours.

An afternoon at the most.

Oh, the exhibition was just beautiful.

I don't think he's ever really happy.

Uh, but he asked me to pose for him.

Yes, exactly,

then I'll be back in a few...


Oh, he said it'd be very quick.

Excuse me.


Ah, hello, Jim!

Hello, Annette. How's it going?

- It's going well. And you?

- Good thanks, very good

Okay. I'm going to Le Dome.

Would you like to join me?

I would,

but we're about to start...

- Ah, yes, you're my husband's next victim.

- Mm.

- Have fun.

- Enjoy your lunch.

Okay, is it too small...?

- Ah, Jim.

- Diego. Hello.

- I heard you were coming.

- How's it going?

Ah, I'm okay, okay.

- What's this?

- I just made this base.

But, uh, it might be a little, uh...



It's hopeless.



You have the head of a brute.

- Gee, thanks.

- Yeah. You look like a real thug.

Thank you.

If I was to paint you as I see you now

and a policeman was to see this painting,

you'd be thrown in jail, like that.

- Perhaps we shouldn't continue.

- No, no, no.

It's all right. I'll never be able

to paint you as I see you.

- Are you sure?

- Yes, of course.

It's impossible.

Just so you know, it is also

impossible to ever finish a portrait.

What do you mean?

Well, portraits used to be finished.

They had to be.

They were necessary.

It was a substitute for a photograph.

Now, portraits have no meaning.

So, what we're doing is meaningless?

Mm. And impossible.

And I'm not even doing it.

I can only ever try to do it.

So on that note,

shall we stop for the day?

- Pff. It's a start.

- Yes. Yeah, yeah. Um, uh...

It's not done yet.

You can come back tomorrow, right?

- Sure, sure, but I... I have the...

- Good. You have what?

I've got the flight the next day

is the only thing.

- Oh, that's fine.

- That gives us enough time?

- Yes.

- All right, sure. So same time tomorrow?

- Sure, sure. Thank you.

- No, no, thank you.

Well, we'll see if you thank me tomorrow

after I torture you some more.

You've made progress.

I don't know

if "progress" is the right word.

- What's the right word?

- Shitty!

- Caroline, you know James?

- James, no. Ah, James.

- Yes, nice to see you.

- Hello, James.

- Uh, so, Alberto, I'll see you tomorrow?

- Yes. Good, good.

- Thank you.

- No, thank you.

- He is still here.

- Come on.

Does he not want to leave?

Hang on.

And there!

Again. Again, again, again, again. Again.

Go on, now.

Each night, after working with me,

Giacometti would work with Caroline,

a prostitute with whom he'd been

openly carrying on a relationship

for three years.

Are you done?

She'd become his primary model,

his nighttime companion...

and his obsession.

- I have to say, I will miss Paris as well.

- Yeah.


- Excuse me. I'll see you in a minute.

- Hello, James.

- Hello, Pierre.

- James.

- How's it going?

- I saw the portrait.

- Oh, and?

- Well...

Pierre thinks

he'll never be able to sell it.

It's more to do with the subject

than the painting.


I'm not going to give it to you, Pierre.

- I'm going to give it to Lord.

- And rightly so.

It's coming along superbly.

It could be your best.

Oh, now you say that,

I'm probably going to wreck it.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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