The Goldfinch, the movie adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend to a warm round of boos from film critics. The cast—Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, Ansel Elgort in glasses, and one of the Stranger Things’ boys—apparently wasn’t enough to save the film from being “lifeless” and maybe even the worst movie of the year.
As AV Club described, The Goldfinch is about “a young man navigating a Dickensian life after the tragic death of his mother, all while harboring an increasingly dangerous secret.”
IndieWire gave the movie a D+ and called it “a lifeless film that doesn’t consist of scenes so much as it does an awkward jumble of other, smaller problems stacked on top of each other like kids inside a trench coat.”
Collider’s review of the film (which got an F) was similarly ungenerous, describing it as a “vapid prestige picture” and a “cold, heartless, sterile look at survivor’s guilt in the face of senseless tragedy.” The critic, Matt Goldberg, then suggests the movie should go the way of Antiques Roadshow.
The BBC was gentler but said the film was “too emotionally muted for its own good, and The Hollywood Reporter called it “a disappointing adaptation of a great book,” adding that, “the immaculately chosen cast has done its job as best they could.”
The bar is low.
I appreciate the use of Perfume Genius’s “Otherside” in the Goldfinch trailer, so maybe the soundtrack is at least decent? Anyway, a bunch of bad reviews from critics is usually more than enough to inspire me to actually watch a movie.