THE GOLDFINCH Review — It Coulda Been Worse…

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The Goldfinch review — Expectations flew high for the film adaptation of this best-loved book. But instead of soaring, it takes a dive.

The goldfinch reviewMillions of eager readers had such high hopes for the big screen version of Donna Tartt’s complicated and thrilling novel, The Goldfinch. The trailer looked promising — it seemed that filmmakers followed the book closely. As for me, the clips were just as I’d imagined the the story would unfold in my head.

But all we seem to have received for our anticipation is a distant, disjointed and dull retelling of a story involving a young man who looses his mother in an explosion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but gains a painting that will inform his life in intriguing, but mostly tragic ways.

Even with an accomplished cast including Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Wright, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Ansel Elgort and  Finn Wolfhard, from Stranger Things, the film still feels shallow and unfulfilling. Wolfhard and his Ukrainian accent are a fun surprise, but the rest of the cast is  wasted, working with a shallow script that doesn’t give them the opportunity to share all but the slightest glimpse of their considerable talent.

Then, after sticking with the story for nearly two and a half hours, viewers are given a vague and vacuous montage that  attempts to tie everything up with a pretty bow, but is so confusing and rushed it’s impossible to follow. That’s just wrong.

Now director John Crowley (Brooklyn, Boy A, Intermission) does provide some lovely images and music, so The Goldfinch is not without its virtues. While the film is not terrible, it’s just that fans of the novel hoped for so much more. As we do.

If you’ve read The Goldfinch review and you’re inclined to see it, get times and tickets at

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The Goldfinch review — Expectations flew high for the film adaptation of this best-loved book. But instead of soaring, it takes a dive.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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