Nicole Kidman plays a sympathetic socialite; Ansel Elgort is effective as the troubled teen grown up. But the film is far too long, with too many characters flitting in and out, to little avail.
Nicole Kidman plays a sympathetic socialite; Ansel Elgort is effective as the troubled teen grown up. But the film is far too long, with too many characters flitting in and out, to little avail.

The Goldfinch is a missed opportunity, says Rashid Irani

Based on a Pullitzer Prize-winning novel about a teen who loses his mother in a bombing at an art museum, the film is slow, plodding and over-plotted.
Hindustan Times | By Rashid Irani
PUBLISHED ON SEP 20, 2019 08:14 PM IST

THE GOLDFINCH

Direction: John Crowley

Actors: Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman

Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch is a rather unwieldy coming-of-age drama. The film is sumptuously produced and visually dazzling, courtesy Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, but fails to fully capture the emotional core of the source fiction.

The sprawling non-linear narrative revolves around a troubled young man (Ansel Elgort) whose life turns topsy-turvy after the death of his mother in a bombing at a New York art museum.

A multitude of characters weave in and out of the over-plotted narrative, which flits between locations ranging from Las Vegas to Amsterdam.

In supporting roles, Nicole Kidman (a sympathetic socialite), Jeffrey Wright (an antiques dealer) and Ashleigh Cummings (the mandatory object of desire) are convincing.

A Russian refugee (Aneurin Barnard) named Boris livens up the proceedings somewhat, in the latter half. Clichéd, contrived and far too lengthy, The Goldfinch is, on the whole, a missed opportunity. 

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