Run time: 149 mins
An illustrious cast led by Nicole Kidman and (Baby Driver’s) Ansel Elgort deliver this morose encounter with the unhappy and the unstable.
Translating a 750 page 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Donna Tartt into a 150 minute movie is no easy chore (but easier for us at 90 minutes). Some argue that bad books actually make better movies than good ones. Extraordinary novels prove particularly tough nuts to crack for adapters. Gallantly(?) taking it on is director John Crowley.
Already abandoned by his alcoholic actor father, Theo Decker is made an orphan when his beloved mother perishes in a museum bombing. With the world having stolen what was most precious to him, Theo steals something from the world. One which, by saving, keeps his mother close. It is Carel Fabritius’s 17th century painting The Goldfinch. Taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side Mrs. Barbour, Theo’s life begins to unravel.
Shot in golden, burnished tones by cinematographer-god Roger Deakins, The Goldfinch is notably one of the year’s most visually gorgeous films. Yet somewhat haunting, somewhat daunting, it stutters to flight as an ambitious, dreamlike enigma. (Research Chris Coetsee) Gorgeous indeed. Breathtaking on our big screen. Come, start wide awake.