Over the last few days, I have learnt that Geoffrey Rush is the younger member of club with very limited membership: the very few people who have won the so-called “Triple Crown of Acting“: the Academy Award, the Primetime Emmy Award, and the Tony Award.
The word on the street in Berlin is almost unanimous. In Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait Rush confirms that such state is well deserved as he delivers, once again, a stunning performance . Watching the movie, one realizes once again that very little is needed if one happens to have Mr Rush in the cast. His craft is such that he can carry the day (with mesmerizing effect) almost by himself, as he makes the viewer believe that the Giacometti is back from the dead, or that, at the very least, the viewer is spending two hours in the exhilarating company of the Swiss artist.
The movie itself is an attempt to inform all millennials of a trajectory and a time that they have probably very little experience of: that greatness in the art field, used to be the end result of endless (and often painful) research that know no conclusion.
The viewer expecting to find a ‘conclusion’ to this trajectory is doomed to remain unsatisfied as the movie reflects the belief that, because of its very nature, art requires speculation if one still believes, like Stucci seems to be suggesting, that in order to understand one does, working remains, to use Hannah Arendt’s own terms, an ‘integral part of the process of understanding.’ Like every work of poetry or speculation, the ‘ricerca’ sketched in the movie cannot be ‘concluded’ but merely abandoned.
It is a pity that Mr. Tucci is too sensitive about being perceived as politically correct to fail to acknowledge (as he did in the press conference) that the movie is in fact a critique of a world, like the art world, that has fallen so helplessly victim of the imperative of finance, to avoid confronting its own demons: celebrity culture and the imperative of the spectacle.