Oscar Watch: Final Portrait

Premiering across the pond at the Berlin Film Festival in February and debuting stateside at the South by Southwest shindig days ago, Stanley Tucci’s fifth directorial effort Final Portrait comes out in limited release this Friday. The film centers on the relationship of famed Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) and American writer James Lord (Armie Hammer).

It’s been a decade since actor Tucci has been behind the camera. His debut effort Big Night from 1996 was his biggest critical and commercial success. Portrait has been met with solid reviews and it currently holds a 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

That said, any potential Oscar attention would likely focus on its performers. Rush had a big 1996 as well, winning Best Actor for Shine. He’s been nominated three times since. This is said to be one of his most impressive performances in recent years. Hammer probably just missed out on a nod for last year’s Call Me by Your Name and would be vying for his first recognition.

My take right now is that Portrait could be forgotten come nomination time. The early date and good but now fawning critical reaction could serve as roadblocks for Rush’s fifth go round and Hammer’s first.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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