'Goldfinch' flies between past and present

September 24, 2019


The Goldfinch, directed by John Crowley and produced by Amazon Studios is the film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel by the same name. 


It is a story about dealing with tragedy, hardships and sorrow amidst an overwhelming sensation of loss.



Photo courtesy IMDB
A a 13 year old boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family

after his mother is killed in a tragic bombing that happened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



It is a hero’s journey aimed at finding acceptance and eventually happiness. 


The film stars Ansel Elgort, from the 2017 summer hit Baby Driver, playing Theo Decker, an emotionally detached young man who lost his mother in an massive explosion when he was just a kid of 13 years old. 


He rescues a small painting from the rubble and his life spins out of control due to that one selfish decision. 


The Goldfinch, is a film that makes you think.  


The film shifts from the early 20s to modern time through a series of flashbacks that are pivotal to the way the story is told. 


Ansel Elgort is incredibly charismatic as the films lead.Nicole Kidman, Mrs. Barbour, and Sarah Paulson, Xandra, play supporting roles but they have the strongest stage presence. 


I must give special props to young Theo Decker, Oakes Fegley, and his childhood friend Boris, Finn Wolfhard from IT Chapter Two. 


The children that they portrayed in the film were mature beyond their years because of the abusive home life. 
Fegley and Wolfhard did justice to the material and made the characters feel real. 


I really enjoyed The Goldfinch but it’s a film that is not for everybody. Crowley tells an intriguing story through gorgeous cinematography. 


The initial shot of a paranoid Ansel Elgort looking out of the half cracked open door of an elegant hotel room is breathtaking. 


The film is littered with beautiful shots throughout. They are key in giving us subtle details about the setting, characters and plot. 


Those beautiful shots help absorb you into the story that is slowly unfolding before your eyes, but only if you let it. 


The director takes his sweet time fleshing out the main character, played by Elgort, establishing his motivations and connecting everything together. 


If you are a fan of action or superhero genres filled with jam-packed action scenes, then this film is not for you. 


It is a slow burn, but as the film starts reaching its climax it delivers. It does a great job of showing how everything connects, while leaving an open ending. 


The film had good characters, an interesting story and a charismatic lead. It is worth watching through to the end. 


I walked out of the theater feeling refreshed. 


I rate The Goldfinch a 4 out of 5 stars. 

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