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The Goldfinch (2019)

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2:25 | Trailer
A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Director:

John Crowley

Writers:

Peter Straughan (screenplay by), Donna Tartt (based on the novel by)
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Popularity
162 ( 38)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oakes Fegley ... Young Theo Decker
Ansel Elgort ... Adult Theo Decker
Nicole Kidman ... Mrs. Barbour
Jeffrey Wright ... Hobie
Luke Wilson ... Larry
Sarah Paulson ... Xandra
Willa Fitzgerald ... Adult Kitsey Barbour
Aneurin Barnard ... Adult Boris
Finn Wolfhard ... Young Boris
Ashleigh Cummings ... Adult Pippa
Aimee Laurence ... Young Pippa (as Aimée Lawrence)
Robert Joy ... Welty
Boyd Gaines ... Mr. Barbour
Carly Connors ... Young Kitsey Barbour
Luke Kleintank ... Adult Platt Barbour
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Storyline

13-year-old New Yorker Theo Decker's life is turned upside-down when his mother is killed in a terrorist attack at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Confused in the rubble of the tragedy, he steals a priceless piece of art known as The Goldfinch.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of a Stolen Life

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donna Tartt's novel spent 30 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list. See more »

Goofs

Ansel Elgort (Adult Theo) has a pair of birth marks under his mouth, whereas no such marks appeared on Oakes Fegley (Young Theo). See more »

Quotes

Hobie: You never know what's going to decide your future.
See more »

Connections

Features The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Codex
Written by Thom Yorke (as Thomas Edward Yorke), Jonny Greenwood (as Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood), Colin Greenwood (as Colin Charles Greenwood), Ed O'Brien (as Edward John O'Brien) and Phil Selway (as Philip James Selway)
Performed by Radiohead
Courtesy of XL Recordings Limited
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User Reviews

 
circumstances such that
13 September 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. The challenge after watching this movie is deciding whether it needed more time or less. With a run time of two-and-a-half hours, that may seem like a ludicrous question, but Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize (fiction) winning 2013 novel was almost 800 pages long, covering many characters and spanning more than a decade. What to include and what to omit surely generated many discussions between director John Crowley (the excellent BROOKLYN, 2015) and screenwriter Peter Straughan (Oscar nominated for the fantastic TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, 2011).

13 year old Theo (Oakes Fegley) is visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his mother when a bomb explodes leaving Theo dazed in the rubble and his mother dead. An encounter with an injured stranger causes Theo to take a painting and flee the museum. Theo proceeds to hide the artwork as the family of one of his schoolmates takes him in. The painting is "The Goldfinch" by Rembrandt's pupil Carel Fabritius. In the first of many parallels separated by time, we learn Fabritius was killed (and most of his work destroyed) in an explosion. In fact, it's these parallels and near-mirror-images are what make the story so unique and interesting ... and so difficult to fit into a film.

When Theo's long-lost drunken shyster father (Luke Wilson) shows up with his equally smarmy girlfriend Xandra (Sarah Paulson), they head to the recession-riddled suburbs of Las Vegas. It's here where Theo meets Boris (Finn Wolfhard, Richie from the two IT movies), a Ukranian emigrant living with his dad (yet another parallel). The two boys become friends, partaking in drugs, alcohol, and shoplifting. Another tragedy puts Theo on the run. He finds himself back in New York, where he takes up with Hobie (Jeffrey Wright), the partner of the stranger from the museum.

All of this is told from the perspective of young adult Theodore Decker, played by Ansel Elgort. We see him bunkered in a hotel room contemplating suicide. The story we watch shows how his life unfolded and landed him in this particular situation. And it's here where we find the core of the story. Circumstances in life guide our actions, and in doing so, reveal our true character. Theo carries incredible guilt over his mother, and his actions with Hobie, regardless of the reasons for doing so, lead him to a life that is not so dissimilar to that of adult Boris (Aneurin Barnard, DUNKIRK) when their paths cross again.

Other supporting work is provided by Ashleigh Cummings as Pippa, the object of Theo's desire, Willa Fitzgerald (played young Claire in "House of Cards") as Kitsey Barbour, Theo's fiancé, as well as Denis O'Hare, Peter Jacobson, and Luke Kleintank. As a special treat, Oscar winner Nicole Kidman plays Mrs. Barbour in what feels like two different performances. When Theo is young, she is the cold, standoffish surrogate mother who takes him in; however when older Theo returns, her own personal tragedies have turned her into a warm bundle of emotions in need of pleasantry. It's sterling work from an accomplished actress.

The segments of the film that resonate deepest are those featuring Oakes Fegley as young Theo. Fegley was so good in the criminally underseen WONDERSTRUCK (2017), and here he conveys so much emotion despite maintaining a stoic demeanor. It's rare to see such a layered performance from a young actor. Of course the film is helped immensely by the unequaled work of cinematographer Roger Deakins. Mr. Deakins finally won his first Oscar last year in his 14th nomination. Trevor Gureckis provides the music to fit the various moods and the two time periods. All of these elements work to give the film the look of an Oscar contending project; however, we never seem to connect with the older Theo, which leaves a hollow feeling to a story that should be anything but. Instead we are left to play "spot the parallels" ... a fun game ... but not engaging like we would hope.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Ukrainian | German | French

Release Date:

13 September 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Goldfinch See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,679,027, 15 September 2019

Gross USA:

$5,332,621

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,932,621
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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