Donna Tartt’s 2014’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel translates into an anemic, poorly edited, lackluster rendition of a scenario, that I found flawed and overwrought in reading, and excruciatingly tedious in viewing. Tartt’s gifted, descriptive prose is wasted; Nicole Kidman, gives a stilted performance as “Mrs. Barbour”, the matron who housed “Theo Decker” (credible Oakes Fegley) after his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, where alas, a painting “The Goldfinch” by 17th century Dutch painter Carel Fabritius, goes missing; adult Theo, weakly, placidly depicted by Ansel Elgort was given a ring after the explosion, that leads him to “Hobie” (the only legitimate, substantial role and performance by Jeffrey Wright) an antique furniture restorer; Theo’s travails commence in New York, Las Vegas, a return to New York (interrupted by a pathetic romance), culminating in an extravagantly sensational, snow-covered Amsterdam, leaving one paralyzed with ennui.
The goldfinch symbolizes prosperity, joy, diversity and serenity in one’s life; in Fabritius’s painting the bird is chained to its pedestal, as were audiences in director John Crowley’s Hollywood flop.
ONE & 1/2 STARS!