Directed by Stanley Tucci (R)
Perfection eludes a legendary artist.
Stanley Tucci, directing his first film in 10 years, remains “the most modest yet nimble of moviemakers,” said Owen Gleiberman in Variety. Like other fine recent biopics, the actor’s new chamber comedy focuses on a single chapter in the life of its subject—in this case, the Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti. It’s 1964, and the cranky, chain-smoking artist has invited American art critic James Ford to sit for a portrait. Working in exquisite miniature, Tucci settles into Giacometti’s Paris studio and “finds the interior hum of drama in each and every moment.” The painting is supposed to take an afternoon, but as Giacometti repeatedly scraps his work, deeming it worthless, Ford must repeatedly reschedule his flight home, said Robbie Collin in The Telegraph (U.K.). The movie becomes “a bleakly funny existential farce,” and Geoffrey Rush “hurls himself into the film’s star turn with a cantankerous abandon,” while Armie Hammer plays Ford with “gliding, WASPy finesse.” In a movie that relies on it, the dialogue could be a touch snappier, said Charles Ealy in the Austin American-Statesman. Still, Tucci’s meditation on the creative process plays like “a delicate minuet.” ■