Geoffrey Rush shines in this elegant drama about the artist Alberto Giacometti, which bypasses the usual dullness of artist biopics by zeroing in on a week or so in 1964. Based on real events, it’s the story of how Giacometti, then 63, invited a young American writer friend, James Lord (Armie Hammer), to sit for him.
The portrait will take a couple of hours, an afternoon at the most, Giacometti promises. A week later, he is in tortured-genius mode, agonising over every brushstroke. Rush’s lived-in performance of the cantankerous, hard-drinking, chain-smoking artist, rumpled in a dirty tweed jacket, is a real treat; and Giacometti’s paint-splattered studio has been beautifully recreated using old photographs.