The Goldfinch Is Far from Golden

Have you ever been on a car ride that just feels like forever and you wonder if the end is in sight?

No, I’m not alluding to the classic film Are We There Yet? featuring Ice Cube. Unfortunately, that movie sounds much more entertaining compared to The Goldfinch.

Based off the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Donna Tartt with the same name, the film messily centers around Theo (played by a younger Oakes Fegley and older Ansel Elgort), who survived an art museum bombing that left his mother dead. Among the rubble of the museum, Theo took a famous painting of a goldfinch.

After that horrific day, Theo’s life goes into a tailspin. From living with his drunken father in Las Vegas to working with a man who forges antique furniture in New York City, Theo loses stability when he loses his mother.

I know, the plot sounds incredible, but the film doesn’t let its source material spread its wings.

At two and a half hours, it sounds like enough to capture such a sprawling story. But by the end, I was sprawled out on my reclining chair.

Throughout the middle, there’s too much meandering when Theo connects with his Russian friend Boris, played by Finn Wolfhard (who haz a fanny aczent). Eh, who cares about that Pulitzer Prize book we’re covering right? Let’s get more scenes of 13 year-olds drinking and goofing off.

On top of this, the film jumps around too much from past to present. There were multiple times when I thought this movie would end, but it turned out to jump somewhere else.

The film’s story has a lot going for it: a young man with a tumultuous past, criminal career, and a famous painting dangling over our heads. What’s criminal is the wasted potential The Goldfinch had.

It’s a weird feeling: a lot of wasted time, yet not enough to address key points.

Unfortunately, this Goldfinch isn’t worth taking.