Final Portrait

Geoffrey Rush so excels at playing real-life figures—pianist David Helfgott (Shine), the Marquis de Sade (Quills), Leon Trotsky (Frida), Peter Sellers (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers)—that one welcomes the very idea of him as sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti. This tongue-in-cheek biopic, written and directed by Stanley Tucci, catches the artist in 1964, near the end of his career, as he fumes and fusses over a portrait of U.S. art critic James Lord. Played with cosmopolitan charm by Armie Hammer, the critic deeply admires Giacometti and gamely sticks it out as the painter struggles to get the face just right, and their afternoon sitting stretches out over weeks. The gag is that the revered artist has no idea where he’s going with the canvas and will follow his brush around for all eternity if no one makes him stop. With Tony Shalhoub and Sylvie Testud.