This small but remarkable film which concerns world renowned Swiss painter and sculptor Albert Giacometti should have art enthusiasts flocking to cinemas.
Set in Paris 1964, the story centres on the intimate friendship which flourishes when Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) invites American writer and art-lover James Lord (Armie Hammer) to sit for a portrait.
Giacometti initially states the sitting may “take two or three hours or one afternoon at most”, but the session transpires into several weeks as he disapprovingly reminds Lord that there’s no question of the portrait ever being finished.
The film explores the artist’s persona, his neurotic behaviour and obsession for perfection, his self-doubt and lack of scruples.
Rush shines in the titular role and is supported by a reputable cast who deliver impeccable performances in this stylishly orchestrated production.
The artist’s unorthodox behaviour while at work provides a distinctive wit, as he delivers offensively funny lines such as, “You have the head of a brute – you look like a thug!”
This pleasurable exploration of friendship is a performance driven film which also offers a detailed look into the excruciatingly long process involved in painting a portrait. (MMo)