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The Goldfinch (2019)

A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In a rush of panic, he steals 'The Goldfinch', a painting that eventually draws him into a world of crime.

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Reviews

★★★★★

"Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning 2013 novel is frequently described as Dickensian in its fine-grained portrayal of upper-crust New York, and the interlopers who threaten to unsettle its hierarchies. Twentysomething antiques dealer Theo Decker (Ansel Elgort, smug and opaque) lost his mother in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; flashbacks reveal that following the accident, the young Theo (Oakes Fegley) was taken in by a wealthy family, the Barbours."

★★★★★

"Despite A-list talent either side of the camera, something has gone worryingly wrong with this adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer-winning novel from 2013, directed by John Crowley. It’s as if all the book’s unwieldy and digressive aspects have hypnotised the film-makers, who want to do justice to the writerly aspects of Tartt’s extravagant Dickensian adventure, all that fetishistic connoisseur detail."

"Imagine you’re at a party — a fancy, catered thing with hors d’oeuvres floating by on trays and golden light suffusing a vast, elegant room. You run into someone you sort of know, maybe someone from college or an old job or who used to date a former roommate."

★★★★★

"Is Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-wining novel The Goldfinch unadaptable? Is it possible to condense 784 globetrotting pages of romance, terrorism, grief, drug addiction and art world espionage into a coherent and dramatically satisfying movie? After 149 minutes of Brooklyn director John Crowley’s much-anticipated, and much-feared, attempt, the answer appears to be … shrug emoji? Related: The Personal History of David Copperfield review: Dev Patel shines in Iannucci's charmer Because it’s neither a rousing success nor an embarrassing failure, falling somewhere in between, closer to admirable attempt. Most importantly, it’s nowhere near the ungainly mess some had expected, its many, many moving parts stitched together with an elegant hand and unlike some weighty adaptations, there’s a motivation behind it that seems to stretch further than “because we should?” While it shifts tone, genre and location, the focus remains on Theo (Oakes Fegley and then Ansel Elgort), whose mother dies in a terrorist attack when he’s 13 and whose life is forever wounded as a result."

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