Adapting Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch for the screen was never going to be an easy task. At 771 pages, it would make a daunting TV miniseries – and director John Crowley managed to whittle it down into an under-two-and-a-half-hour feature film. As any team adapting existing material must, the filmmakers had to make a number of choices as to how they would present the story.
While the critical consensus seems mostly aligned against the changes to The Goldfinch, I tend to align with /Film’s own Meredith Borders in her review from TIFF. “The deliberate pacing and mysterious unveiling of information appear to have alienated many viewers,” she wrote out of the festival. “The film feels more like a gorgeous piece of emotional art than a straightforward story.” Whether that’s what people wanted – or felt – watching The Goldfinch, it was certainly the intent of the filmmaking team.
Just hours before the film’s world premiere in Toronto, I sat down for an extended discussion on the post-production of The Goldfinch with editor Kelley Dixon. Being fresh off both reading the novel and seeing the film, I came ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of how some of the biggest choices in the adaptation came to be. Her answers into both the larger structural changes, as well as some of the smaller details, proved an enlightening glimpse into a film that’s inspired strong reactions from viewers of many perspectives.
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Another weekend has ended, which means two things: one, we all have to return to the drudgery of work. And two, the weekend box office results are in. While there were a few new contenders at the multiplex, Pennywise and the Losers’ Club held fast with It Chapter Two staying at number one. But the highly-acclaimed Hustlers had a great weekend, too, exceeding expectations. The same can’t be said for the prestige drama The Goldfinch, which could not take flight in the wake of scathing TIFF reviews.
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How do you make a movie out of The Goldfinch? It’s the question book lovers have been asking themselves since John Crowley’s adaptation was announced last year. And it’s true that Donna Tartt’s thoughtful, decades-spanning, continent-hopping story of a boy and a painting doesn’t really lend itself to an action-packed feature film, but if you’re in the bag for a 150-minute meditation on grief, guilt and the power of beauty, then hey, The Goldfinch is for you.
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If you’ve been paying attention to the film industry for the past decade or so, you’ve probably heard the frequent lament from critics and executives alike that movie studios don’t make nearly the same number of mid-budget adult-targeted dramas that they used to. Sure, an occasional exception may slip through the cracks, but compare the state of the industry now with how it was in the 1990s, and things continues to look increasingly dire for mid-budget movies.
But The Goldfinch financing deal may establish a template that could keep those movies from going extinct on a studio level. Warner Bros. teamed up with Amazon to co-finance the upcoming prestige drama, with WB distributing the film theatrically worldwide and then passing it off to Amazon Studios, who has video-on-demand streaming rights for its Amazon Prime Video platform.
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John Crowley‘s 2015 film Brooklyn was one of my favorites of that year, and now the director is finally back with his next movie: The Goldfinch, a star-studded adaptation of a novel that was even more acclaimed than Brooklyn. Oakes Fegley (the kid from the Pete’s Dragon remake), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and many more co-star in this movie based on author Donna Tartt‘s novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014. Check out the latest trailer below. Read More »
In 2013, The Goldfinch debuted to rave reviews, going on to spend over 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014. Now, Donna Tartt’s award-winning behemoth of a novel is getting a big screen adaptation starring Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort.
John Crowley directs the film following a young boy who survives a terrorist bombing at an art museum where his mother dies. Recovering a small Dutch Golden Age painting called The Goldfinch, the boy (played by Oakes Fegley as a young 13-year-old and Elgort as a teen), turns to it as a singular source for hope even as he descends further into a world of crime. Watch the first The Goldfinch trailer below.
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