the goldfinch painting – The Differences Between Donna Tartt’s Novel And The New Film Adaptation.

What he keeps secret, however, is the Dutch painting The Goldfinch” that he retrieved from the ruins of the bombing. That Stranger Things kid (Finn Wolfhard) isn’t horrible as Theo’s friend, a Ukrainian named Boris who befriends Theo in Las Vegas.

the goldfinch full movie – ‘The Goldfinch’ Movie Review

The GoldfinchA book like The Goldfinch” is something to wallow in. Dickensian in heft, length, characters, and readability, Donna Tartt’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is the kind of experience that eats up a month or three of your life. Theo begins to settle into life with the Barbours and is invited to go on vacation with them as Andy is hinting that his parents are considering adopting him. Before they can, Theo’s estranged and alcoholic father, Larry, newly detoxed, and his girlfriend Xandra arrive to reclaim Theo and relocate him to Las Vegas One of the few items he takes with him is The Goldfinch painting.

The novel isn’t, of course, all action and suspense. Some of its most memorable moments occur in stillness. Take Theo’s first experience of the desert skies of Las Vegas, after a life spent amid the light pollution of New York. Until now, he has only known the constellations as “childhood patterns that had twinkled me to sleep from the glow-in‑the-dark planetarium stars on my bedroom ceiling back in New York. Now, transfigured – cold and glorious like deities with their disguises flung off – it was as if they’d flown through the roof and into the sky to assume their true, celestial homes.” It is a glorious piece of prose, but placed within a novel about a boy who has lost his true home – which is, wherever his mother might be – it becomes heart-piercing, too. Tartt may already have displayed her great gift for plot in her debut, but the emotional register of The Goldfinch is of a different order from either of her previous works.

This terrible, awful, no-good day launches the sensitive boy on a pilgrimage into the world of antiques with surrogate father figure Hobie (a warm and grounded Jeffrey Wright, 53), and the Upper East Side enclave of rich matriarch Mrs. Barbour ( Nicole Kidman , 52). And then it’s off to Las Vegas, where he’s reclaimed by his dissolute father (Luke Wilson).

Although it will always exist in the shadow of Gillian Flynn’s ingenious thriller Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train is an undeniably pacy and intelligent novel. But it was completely let down by this US film adaptation. The 2016 release, starring Emily Blunt, is cheesy and lacking in nuance – and criminally takes the story away from its original gritty London setting, plonking the characters down in glossy New York for no apparent reason.

He bonds with an abused Ukrainian named Boris, runs away to New York on a Greyhound bus, falls in love with a physically damaged survivor of his childhood museum bombing named Pippa, who lives in London, reunites with the Barbour family, gets engaged to their spoiled, selfish daughter who does not love him, and moves into the basement of a Greenwich Village brownstone with a furniture restorer (Wright) who becomes a combination father figure and guardian angel.

Theo has come out of the disaster with a ring given to him by a dying man and a small oil painting, The Goldfinch,” painted by the Dutch master Carel Fabritius in 1654 before he himself was killed in an explosion. To the world, it’s a theft; for Theo, it’s a talisman of trauma.

I am not a reader who must like or identify with the main character, or even any of them, but I do require them to at least be interesting or representative of a larger idea in some way, if not, then I at least want to be able to root for them. Here, I found the characters unlikable (except for Hobie and Pippa, but they just fade in and out) and with no real emotional resonance. Theo’s mourning for his mother in particular, felt vaguely like a lovesick teenager’s rendition of grief in a creative writing class. His relationships with women are so shallow and unconvincing as to suggest that he is deeply closeted. But with his lecturing at the end (pursuing what your heart desires, etc), I would think he would come clean on this point if that were the case.

The Ark is itself a symbol of Theo’s own voyage. Just as the ark functions as a refuge from the devastation of a biblical flood, Hobie and his shop become, for Theo, a sanctuary from the depths of his own melancholy. Nicole Kidman as Samantha Barbour, Chance’s wife and the seemingly chilly but kind and wealthy socialite mother of Platt, Kitsey and Andy who takes in the orphaned Theo.


The mid-September opening suggests Warners had little expectation of The Goldfinch” as an Oscar player. Even though this year’s awards calendar has moved several weeks earlier, no other likely contender moved this early (the original date was mid-October). It does make sense that this opened right after the Toronto premiere, and it was logical to go on a less competitive date. (Warner Bros. did not respond to a request for comment.) The studio was privy to research screening data, which was reinforced by the poor critical response. Further evidence of audience resistance was revealed by its mediocre B Cinemascore (Extremely Close” received an A-), with a significant percent of ticket buyers likely fans of the book.

The story is a complete original, but the movie does feel like a couple we’ve seen before. When Theo is a child, it’s like Stand by Me – young teens bond over loss, abuse, and the unfairness of life. When he’s a young man, it’s more Bright Lights, Big City : A handsome 20-something New Yorker battles his demons with drugs as he tries to settle his affairs of the heart and get on the right path. The Goldfinch does boast memorable performances: Nicole Kidman ‘s poised, proper, yet caring and protective temporary foster mother; Sarah Paulson as the chain-smoking girlfriend of Theo’s actor-turned-gambler dad; and Finn Wolfhard as Theo’s bad-influence best friend. It all adds up to what might be best described as an empathy hot pot – not so much a tearjerker, but once the credits roll, you realize your heart is fully cooked.

Though it’s never explicitly stated, the script unmistakably implies that Hobie and his former business partner also were living together as a couple. As for an emotionally charged scene in which Boris kisses Theo on the mouth, the meaning of the gesture is kept ambivalent by the fact that Boris’ liking for girls has already been established. At any rate, his relationship with Theo thereafter remains strictly one of friendship.

If only it were that easy. The Goldfinch, director John Crowley’s prestige adaptation of Donna Tartt’s beautifully detailed novel, isn’t a great movie; it’s hardly even an OK one. Yet there’s something wistfully unfortunate about it. From its casting to its structure to its layering of visual textures, you can almost see how every good intention and carefully considered judgment call has somehow gone wrong. It’s an object lesson in what not to do in an adaptation, yet it’s occasionally effective enough that you can see a much more successful movie buried within it.

As in The Secret History and her second, less successful novel, The Little Friend, which centered on an unsolved murder, Tartt plays here with the conventions of the suspense thriller. In the aftermath of the explosion, Theo comforts a dying man who gives him a ring and points to the small painting of The Goldfinch, lying in the rubble out of its frame. Theo takes custody of both objects and they lead him on a baroque coming-of-age adventure that includes a season in hell in Las Vegas with his deadbeat dad, brushes with the Russian mob, unrequited love, excessive teen drug use and the discovery of a place almost like home in a New York antique shop — an old curiosity shop, if you will — run by an open-hearted mensch named Hobie, who becomes Theo’s guardian. I have, by the way, only taken us halfway through this 700-plus-page novel.

There is never a sense that Crowley has brought this occasionally silly and always portentous story under his full control. Perhaps, like the titular painting, we are being invited to gaze in wonder and divine some greater meaning from what’s unfolding on the screen. You’ll be gazing for a long time. Our advice? Read a good book.

The Goldfinch” should be called CliffsNotes: The Movie,” because after seeing this pedantic film adaptation , I now know all 3 billion plot points of Donna Tartt’s acclaimed 2013 novel. And, like skimming a colorless cheat sheet, I still have no clue what’s so great about it.

But—as I feared, and not without reason—Tom’s cigarette was only the tip of the iceberg. I’d been in trouble at school for a while. It had all started, or begun to snowball rather, when my father had run off and left my mother and me some months before; we’d never liked him much, and my mother and I were generally much happier without him, but other people seemed shocked and distressed at the abrupt way he’d abandoned us (without money, child support, or forwarding address), and the teachers at my school on the Upper West Side had been so sorry for me, so eager to extend their understanding and support, that they’d given me—a scholarship student—all sorts of special allowances and delayed deadlines and second and third chances: feeding out the rope, over a matter of months, until I’d managed to lower myself into a very deep hole.

After Theo meets Boris, that habit intensifies. On numerous occasions, we see the adolescents drinking beer and vodka, as well as snorting crushed pills together. They find a bag of Vicodin hidden in Theo’s dad’s house, and they crush and snort the prescription painkiller. Boris even finds two hits of acid at one point; he and Theo share the potent hallucinogen, getting high on it. Years later, the two meet again (Boris is now, not surprisingly, a drug dealer), and they quickly start guzzling vodka and snorting cocaine.

The above represents my attempt to convey to you, without taking up too much of your time — because we barely know each other and I see your eyes darting over to the review of the Jennifer Lopez stripper movie — what it’s like to watch The Goldfinch,” John Crowley’s earnest and utterly flummoxing adaptation of Tartt’s 2013 book. I should say that I admire the novel, a best seller and a Pulitzer Prize winner, though not as much as I like Tartt’s others, The Secret History” and The Little Friend.” And it’s clear that Crowley (director of the lovely Brooklyn” ) and the film’s screenwriter, Peter Straughan (of the risible Snowman”), also admire it. They just can’t, given two and a half hours of the viewer’s time, quite manage to explain why.

The Goldfinch is a doorstopper, weighing in at over 700 densely written pages. Yet, I found myself tearing through it as if I couldn’t read it fast enough. I don’t know what the secret is to Ms. Tartt’s prose, but I dig it. I dig it a lot. Maybe it’s due to sheer deprivation (absence making the heart grow fonder and all that jazz), because this lady, while her talent goes undisputed, has only Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Congratulations, Ms. Tartt on such a stunning return.The Goldfinch

Like the book, the movie gets better when Boris shows up. But regardless of all the enjoyment Wolfhard brings with a gesture as simple as opening of a black umbrella in the Nevada sun or his complaining about how Americans always call their kids “stupid things” like Apple or Blanket, Barnard’s Boris doesn’t have the same effect. Not by a long shot.

For Tartt’s fans, disengaging from her books is almost impossible, and all the more so because, so far, she publishes just once every decade and disappears in between. It all started with The Secret History, a 524-page tome that was released in an era when slim fiction was popular and publishers weren’t quite sure what to do with a lengthy manuscript peppered with classical references.

One more coincidence that thrilled Tartt? On the very date of The Goldfinch’s release in the U.S., an exhibition of Dutch masters that included “The Goldfinch” opened at the Frick museum in New York. The New York Times confirmed that the exhibit’s curators were completely unaware of Tartt’s pub date.

We’ve seen this happen a hundred times before, just about always during awards season. For every adaptation of a relatively recent literary sensation that succeeds in being vibrantly true to the book and, at the same time, emerges as a rich dramatic entity all its own, like No Country for Old Men,” there are a dozen others like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close,” The Lovely Bones,” Beloved,” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” or — going back to the ’70s and ’80s — Daniel” and Ironweed.” These are movies that exist in the culture for a moment or two as prestige spectacles of adaptation, yet they’re films that few viewers wind up going back to, because they never achieve a life apart from the optics of the novels they were based on.



Because of the book’s huge success, there was more than a little excitement when the first trailer for the adaptation, starring Ansel Elgort, Finn Wolfhard, Nicole Kidman, and Sarah Paulson among others, came out back in May.

Categories Movies