the goldfinch trailer

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.

The Goldfinch Trailer

Director John Crowley had the unenviable task of adapting an 800-plus page book into a feature film — one that he tackles with enthusiasm. The dense novel follows Theo, a survivor of a terrorist attack on an art museum, who steals a famous painting called The Goldfinch. This kicks off a life of crime, as his life becomes a cycle of failed romance, antiques fraud, drug addiction, and encounters with a runaway called Boris (played as an adult in the movie by Dunkirk star Aneurin Barnard and as a child by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard). The decades-spanning story is told in linear fashion in the book, but Crowley decided to take a different route, he told Yahoo UK.

“The initial decision to not follow the linear structure of the book, rather to intercut a little more cinematically, a little more impressionistically, that was the thing that liberated us and allowed us to deal with time passing and leave out chunks of the book which though beautiful and wonderful in their intentional setting were perhaps less dramatic,” Crowley explained.

To Crowley, this was a Dickensian tale of an innocent boy “stuck in grief,” he told USA Today. With the help of Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, “we were able to address the idea of what you see and don’t see and also what you remember and how memories can get crushed and evaporate after time,” the director said.

It sounds ambitious and complex — a story that we would more commonly see play out on prestige television rather than film today. But with Kidman and Elgort starring in the film, and supporting appearances by Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson, and Jeffrey Wright, perhaps The Goldfinch could earn as much acclaim as the book upon which it’s based.

The Goldfinch opens in theaters September 13, 2019.

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