The Goldfinch is a movie for which I had high hopes post trailer viewing. The primary reason is the reliable cast and intriguing themes.
Starring Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard and Sarah Paulson; director John Crowley’s film is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt. A story that follows Theodore Decker, a young boy who loses his mother in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An event that leads to him being taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side, New York family. And from there we get to see the highs and lows of young Theodore’s life as he grows up.
‘Not particularly’ is unfortunately the answer to the question of whether I enjoyed watching The Goldfinch. The only sort of good news is that I didn’t hate the performances. Yet, I can’t deny that the movie left me disappointed.
Part of the problem is the two-and-a-half hour-long runtime which felt excessive. Second, young Oakes Fegley is a talented performer. However, it proved distracting to me, how little he resembled Ansel Elgort, especially since he’s supposed to play the younger version of Elgort’s character.
The Goldfinch isn’t focused on grief the way I expected. Yet, I’m not mad at that. My issue is more that whatever the film had to say, it could have been better-executed story edit/structure-wise. The lack of satisfaction and the emptiness I felt during much of, and by the end of the movie took me back to that feeling of leaving a dinner party you’d been looking forward to with a largely empty stomach.
Okay, there were one or two highlights, Young Decker’s relationship with Jeffrey Wright’s character and the tiny little crush I may have had on Aneurin Barnard’s character. Overall, I’m sure it’s unsurprising that I’m having trouble thinking of reasons to suggest you give The Goldfinch a chance. However, Tartt’s book is a Pulitzer Prize winner. So maybe read it if you haven’t already.
Happy Film Loving