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The Goldfinch The Biggest Disappointment of 2019 is here... Sadly Grade: D

Source: IMDb


The Goldfinch is adapted from the award winning best selling novel. Theo (Ansel Elgort) growing up as a child (Oaks Fegley) began a life so rough. His mother died in an explosion that happened while visiting a museum with Theo. Keeping Theo at float, was carrying a piece of art that was his mother’s favorite painting The Goldfinch. Watch Theo’s dysfunctional depressing life before our eyes, as he keeps carrying on this treasured painting. Before I talk about The Goldfinch, let me just say this was my most anticipated film of the month. The director of Brooklyn directed this film, so I was excited to watch this film. The Cinematography looked pretty nice, lovely set designs, accurate portrayal of living in Las Vegas, I did liked the dark grey tone in the museum scene... Visually it’s the films best trait. The Score was fine, I noticed this one tune I’ve heard in a past trailer that became a liking towards me. The cast in this film was mediocre at best, though I wouldn’t say anyone was awful in this film, I just found majority of the performances underwhelming. The lead Ansel Elgort, which I do like him as an actor I found his performance disappointing. There was barely any life out of this performance, I get he’s a troubled soul but he doesn’t resemble his younger side at all. Adult Theo is easily less interesting and compelling than younger Theo, in fact I got tired of watching Adult Theo in this film. After awhile it’s repetitive, also not enough exciting nor interesting things happen. Oaks Fegley playing younger Theo I felt he did fine. My best compliment is early on I was emotionally attached to this character, at times it kind of breaks my heart watching this character. I mean losing your mother in such a tragic way is always upsetting, hard to recover from that. Though being placed in a good home, he gets taken away from that home, to now living with his alcoholic abusive troubled father in Vegas... Just downright depressing, as his source of relief is drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. But the thing that separates this version of Theo, is that I’m actually invested in Theo, I actually cared about this character. It’s completely opposite when you compare both versions of this character, I actually wanted a little more from young Theo than Adult Theo still. Regarding Oaks sometimes his performance was good, sometimes I thought he was weak in some scenes. Nicole Kidman playing Theo’s temporary caretaker was fine. When Theo departs his caretaker, I thought Kidman’s acting during this scene felt so awkward, it’s like she didn’t care he was leaving... Which is completely wrong because she loved Theo. I should’ve gotten a little more range out of this scene from Kidman, instead of feeling completely awkward. I liked Luke Wilson playing Theo’s father and Sarah Paulson playing Theo’s fathers girlfriend, both pretty good performances. I guess last but not least: Theo’s friend Boris. Younger version played by Finn Wolfhard I’d say for an attempt at a Ukrainian accent... Not bad. Same with Theo, I prefer watching the younger version of this character, than the older version of Boris (Aneurin Barnard). Though I didn’t care for Boris as he was a bad influence to Theo, you can’t deny Theo’s and Boris’ chemistry with each other was kind of adorable to watch in a depressing way. Boris gave Theo something to look forward to in his difficult situation, it was kind of sweet. But as adult versions of these characters... You’re just either annoyed or completely bored watching these characters. As a fan of Brooklyn... This followup turned out to be a complete disappointment. This film is a constructed mess, with poor editing choices. Early on I was liking this film, my interest and investment was all here... But we then cut to young Theo to Adult Theo, but the thing is... It doesn’t make much sense why we cut to Adult Theo here. It actually messes up the film’s flow, as editing and construction issues started to become a problem. Now originally I thought Theo kept The Goldfinch because it was the last moment Theo and his mother shared before she died. But we get a scene of Theo interacting with an older gentleman that’s wounded, as he tells Theo to take the painting. Whether it’s in the novel or not... I don’t like this scene. It kind of butchers the purpose of Theo taking this painting, I felt The Goldfinch resembled his mother and the past which should’ve been kept at that and nothing more. It wasn’t unnecessary for Theo to have someone guide him to take the painting, it should’ve just been Theo alone. I hated the entire third act, to a point where I begged this film to just end. Like I said earlier: Adult Theo is the worst part of this film, the entire third act is dedicated to him as it’s just completely boring. It felt like a gigantic mess, a bunch of stuff happens as it was unbearable to watch. The speeches given at the end of the film, regarding The Goldfinch... I just didn’t care anymore and wanted to leave immediately. I felt if this film was constructed properly, where it didn’t looked like a mess... We probably get a reasonably average film and I would’ve prefer that. There is a good story being told here, just the way it’s presented is just bad. Overall, The Goldfinch is the biggest disappointment of the year. I don’t recommend this film, watch Crowley’s Brooklyn instead. -Mitch Smietana

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