Having been a huge fan of the book “THE GOLDFINCH”, I was excited to see what they could do with the film as how does one adapt an almost 800 page Pulitzer Prize winning novel. The short story is they don’t..and while I will acknowledge the effort made..they just don’t get it right.
We start with the beginning as a young Theo (Oakes Fegley) , is recovering in the art museum in the aftermath of the bombing that kills his mom. We are suddenly flipped to adult Theo (Ansel Elgort) in a hotel in Amsterdam, scrubbing blood out of his clothes.
And so continues the story of Theo and the magical painting of The Goldfinch that he took after being told by a dying old man Welty (Robert Joy) and his young granddaughter Pippa played by (Aimee Lawrence) as a child, and (Ashleigh Cummings) as an adult, in the museum. He followed her into this room because of a fleeting crush moment, that will change his life forever.
And on we go, back n forth between adult Theo’s life and young Theo’s life..following what happens to him and the painting along the way. He is taken in by the Barbour family who don’t really know him or what to do with him. Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Barbour, is good later in the film when she ages..In between we meet his dad Larry (Luke Wilson) a compulsive gambler and drunk, and his girlfriend Xandra (Sarah Paulson) and his new best friend Boris, a Russian kid (Finn Wolfhard) is young Boris, (Aneurin Barnard) is older Boris) who is seemingly his only friend after his dad drags him to Vegas.
The films is disjointed and all over the place. The book was a page-turner that kept you in suspense every step of the way. The film completely misses the mark on this. It’s blah, boring and terribly mis-cast in almost every role but young Theo. The accents they try to pull off are horrible and draw attention to the bad acting done by the two actors portraying Boris. And while it is visually beautiful to look at, it’s mish-mash of story never comes together or makes sense enough for you to truly figure out what & why this is all happening. The elements were all there as again, as the book keeps you on the edge of suspense to where you don’t want to put it down, whereas I just wanted this film to end as it was exceedingly long.
In the end, the film just could not deliver what the book could and did.
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Media review screening: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 ~ Courtesy of Warner Bros.
‘THE GOLDFINCH” IS OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 // WORLDWIDE RELEASE FOLLOWING.