The Goldfinch

The life of Theodore Decker (Ansel Elgort and Oakes Fegley) is for every changed when his mother is killed in an explosion at an art museum. In the same tragic moments when his mother is killed he also makes a decision that will help shape the rest of his life, he takes a rare and valuable painting in the chaos of surrounding. This painting, The Goldfinch, wasn’t something he planned on taking, but having it will be the only thing that brings him comfort in the days ahead. After the tragedy he is temporarily placed with a family he really enjoys. He has a best friend, Andy Barbour (Ryan Foust), and a mother figure in Mrs. Barbour (Nicole Kidman). Theodore also makes a connection to a girl Pippa (Aimee Laurence and later by Ashleigh Cummings) and her caretaker Hobie (Jeffrey Wright). Pippa and her uncle Welty (Robert Joy) were standing right next to Theodore when the explosion that killed his mother happened. Welty also passes away during the explosion but not before he would influence Theodore to take the painting. Thus changing the trajectory of the rest of his life.
This film is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Donna Tartt of the same name. I have not read the book so I cannot make a comparison between the two. The director, John Crowley (Brooklyn and Closed Circuit) makes a visually beautiful film. You can tell that care was taken to make the film have a certain feel and texture. The cast is very good, including those mentioned above and Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Aneurin Barnard and more. I particularly thought the casting of Oakes Fegley as the Young Theodore and Ansel Elgort as the adult Theodore was particularly good. The story skipped in sequence and you could see the similarity in the two actors as on character. The overall story is original and fascinating. But the film jumped around and made it feel choppy. Also the run time of two hours and twenty nine minutes somehow felt longer than that. The story moved at a snail’s pace and really seemed like it had no direction. Then in the final 10 minutes it wrapped up in a flash.
I thought overall the performances were good and the story was interesting but how it was presented really lacked. It was slow and developed in a non-compelling way. I could definitely see potential but it fell a little short for me. It did make me want to read the book and see how the author meant for the story to be told. I would recommend seeing this in a theater for the cinematography because it was beautifully shot.

2 out of 5