This week and weekend have been a very busy time for me, so I didn’t get to the movie theater until Sunday night. I was about twenty minutes early to the movie and for the longest time I was the only one in the theater. Right before the film started a couple came in and sat down behind me. Normally the theaters are sparsely occupied when I go but this was a new low.
After the couple left half way through the movie I can see why the theater didn’t have any one but me in it. This was a horrible movie. I normally think there is some redeeming value to most of the films I see but this one is an exception. This one was trying to be a heady masterpiece of a character development but in the end failed miserably and spectacularly. This is why this film had one of the worst top ten opening weekends of any film ever. Let that sink it!
The GoldFinch, premise is actually really interesting. A thirteen-year-old, Theo Decker’s life, is turned upside down after his mother is killed in a bomb attack at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the midst of the confusion of this attack he steals the famous painting the Gold Finch for reasons that really don’t pay off in the end of the movie.
This movie is based on the book of the same name written by Donna Tartt. She won a Pulitzer Prize for the book. So I am under no doubt that the source material is some good stuff. However, Peter Straughan does a horrible job of translating this into film.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first book he has butchered. If you recall, he was also behind the horrible thriller The Snowman which was another book he tried to adapt to the screen. This was disappointing because he wrote a good movie, an academic award nominated movie in Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. It seems to me, he has forgotten what character arc as well as character development means. He included scenes that are clunky and have no pay off. I could think of a thousand different ways to present this film that would be more compelling as well as show us the distress that the main character is struggling with.
The actors were underwhelming. I don’t know whether it is this comatose script that they were handed, but it felt like most of them were acting in thick syrup. There were many times that the actors seemed to be confused at what emotions they were suppose to portray. I want to put more blame on the director as well as the screen writer for this because the actors/actresses have been in roles before where they have shined.
Overall I give this movie an F (A Horrible Movie). Normally I can at least pick out one or two scenes that I feel are compelling, entertaining, or something. This film was a bore and not just a short bore but a two and half hour bore. I have never read the book, but I can’t believe that this film does it any justice. The plot is too long and convoluted. It could have been easily a ninety minute movie which had been shorter, notice I didn’t say better.
The GoldFinch reminds us why movies seldom do a good job of bringing an excellent novel to life. Novels are about feeling, thoughts and what goes on behind the eyelids, however movies are a very visual art form. The GoldFinch forgets this distinction to its detriment. I would advise going to see any movie in the theaters besides this snore fest even 47 Meters Down: Uncaged which is an awful movie but still more entertaining than this drivel.
The GoldFinch is rated R for drug use and language. It should be rated BR for boring as well. John Crowley directed this mess while Peter Straughan wrote this nonsensical screenplay. This film stars Oakes Fegley, Ansel Elgort, and Nicole Kidman.