‘The Goldfinch’ trailer is here: will this be a big Oscar-bait film this fall?

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The Goldfinch was published in 2013. It was a huge deal at the time because Donna Tartt had not published a book in eleven years, and many thought The Goldfinch could be her opus. Is it? I bought the book and it’s still sitting in the stack of books beside my bed, waiting to be read. Perhaps it is Tartt’s opus and I just missed my window to read it! It ended up winning the Pulitzer for fiction, and of course the film rights were snapped up. The film was mostly shot last year in New York and Europe, and we finally have a trailer.

Methinks this is why Ansel Elgort was mysteriously posting shirtless selfies this week – it was some kind of promotion for The Goldfinch. Ansel plays the 20-something Theo, the protagonist, and the cast of characters is filled out by actors like Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Wilson, Jeffrey Wright and Oakes Fegley as the young Theo (who looks like he’s acting his ass off). And it was directed by John Crowley, who did Brooklyn, which is honestly one of my favorite films of the past five or ten years.

The Goldfinch comes out in mid-September, which isn’t the usual release date for a film which is so clearly Oscar-bait. My guess is that they’ll probably do premieres at the Venice Film Festival and/or Toronto. And honestly, given the compressed timeline for next year’s Oscars (which are three weeks earlier!), it sort of makes sense for more Oscar-bait films to come out in September and October now.

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Promotional images from The Goldfinch.

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60 Responses to “‘The Goldfinch’ trailer is here: will this be a big Oscar-bait film this fall?”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    Oh its definitely Oscar bait.

    I read the book, and liked it, but at the end I kind of felt very….”wow, that was depressing” and not in a good cathartic way, lol. Like, the book starts with a bombing at a museum, where Theo’s mother is killed (that’s not a spoiler, it happens at the beginning) and then his life just kind of spirals down from there in some really depressing and frankly not realistic ways. I realized watching the trailer that I have no desire to see the movie because I found the book so depressing and awkward – it almost reminded me of Talented Mr Ripley (not plot wise, but kind of how it made me felt.) I was very uncomfortable reading it.

    Its the kind of movie that I want to see in a way just to see how they adapted it, and to see how Ansel really is as an actor, but I will probably never actually watch.

    Also, omg, the selfies were so weird. I follow him on IG and woke up that morning (yesterday or Wednesday) and my IG feed was flooded with this selfies of a shirtless Ansel. It was bizarre.

    • The Dot says:

      Just checked insta and the shirtless selfies are so over the top. Did he get drunk and decide to enthrall us with his best blue steel?

      • Becks1 says:

        RIGHT???? It was so weird. Someone asked him after like the 5th one – “you okay bro?” Which is basically what I wanted to ask him.

      • Amaryis says:

        Oh lord, how obnoxious!
        🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
        As an actor I find him utterly pointless.

    • Lolalulu says:

      I’m so glad it wasn’t just me! I hated the ending (and a good chunk leading up to it) and it ruined the entire book for me. Haha I remember it was a one week library rental too, so I was rushing to get thru this 800 page book, only to go….that’s it?!

      • Kate says:

        Yes the ending ruined the entire book for me as well. I can’t remember anything about the plot though so I guess it didn’t stick with me/impact my life in any meaningful way.

    • Lilly says:

      I read 75% of the book and didn’t even finish it! I found it depressing and long winded. I’m not sure I understand what all the hype was about that book when it came out.

  2. smee says:

    read the book – you won’t be able to put it down!

  3. susiecue says:

    I loved the book. You should read it! I’m really excited about this film!

  4. Sandra says:

    I couldn’t get into the book. I made a couple attempts since everyone kept telling me I had to read it but just couldn’t do it. I can’t believe it won a Pulitzer…. I’ll take a pass on the movie.

    • Megan says:

      I loved The Secret History, but I could not get into Little Friend or Goldfinch.

      • Ali says:

        Same.

      • Esmom says:

        I loved, loved, loved The Secret History but I loved The Goldfinch even more. It actually sucked me right in and I read it in just a couple days. It was a bit uneven but I finished it feeling like I’d just read something epic, the best book I’d read in years.

        And then I ended up reading The Secret History again for a book group and it seemed really amateur and even kinda cringeworthy to me. Tartt has grown tremendously as a writer.

      • Harryg says:

        Same, I found The Goldfinch sort of monotony. Perhaps I’ll try again. Did love The Secret History, years ago.

      • Jessica says:

        The Secret History is one of my two top favorite books. I was a Classics major so it spoke to me. Little Friend was not good. Loved Goldfinch!

    • Anname says:

      Same +1

    • Pamela Cartier says:

      Me too. Kept trying. Started over a year ago. Really not that well done.

  5. Lucy2 says:

    I have the book sitting here too, but every time I think about reading it, I end up choosing something smaller, LOL.

    Those selfies were just plain weird .

  6. MariaS says:

    I haven’t read it because (while I loved The Secret History) The Little Friend infuriated me. We still don’t know? WTF? 😂

    • EnnuiAreTheChampions says:

      Girl, The Little Friend made me so damn mad. I still remember the feeling of having 20 pages left (“hmm…”), 10 pages left (“surely not…”), 5 pages left (“GDI, so help me…”), last page (“OH HELL NO”)

      I did love The Goldfinch, though not as much as A Secret History.

  7. Babs1986 says:

    Oscar bait has lost all meaning

  8. Miss Melissa says:

    That’s Nicole Kidman? From the still I thought it was Kathleen Turner. Girl needs to leave her face alone.

    • Suze says:

      It looks like she’s in heavy “aging” makeup. In the trailer you see her with young Theo and she looks like herself.

  9. Snowslow says:

    The Goldfinch is one of those books where the author knows s/he will have the reader’s attention and it infuriated me. There is some arrogance to dragging the story the way this book does. It was so long for no good reason and quite boring frankly.
    And I say this as someone who reads daily and many books at the same time, big or small.
    The only bit I liked, even though quite unrealistic, was the Vegas section. That was the only moment where I felt excited.
    But I can’t even remember if I got to the end and can’t remember most of it.

    Edit: just watched the trailer. This is gonna be one of those formulaic-films-with-a-secret based on a book like The Hours

    • TW says:

      I read the book in just a few sittings and can barely remember it. So I’m reading through these comments and yours struck a chord.
      I, too was frustrated by the lengthy and pace. Just when I would find myself wanting to know what happens next, she would forcibly detour my attention elsewhere. It was so formulaic that I remember skipping chapters just so I could continue in the story a bit before being derailed. Then I would go back and read ithe chapters in order. Ugh

      • Slowsnow says:

        Back in the nineteenth century, at least in France, writers were paid by the page so they’d write a great deal in order to get those Francs! In this case I don’t see the reason.

    • Esmom says:

      It’s funny because I read a ton, too, and in recent years forget practically everything the minute I finish, but The Goldfinch had stayed with me, I can vividly remember so much of it.

      I tried to get my 18 yo son to read it but like most people here he didn’t get the fuss.

      As for the length, I agree it was a bit long in places but I remember thinking that if she spent 11 years writing it, it would be really hard to cut anything, lol. I am curious if she’s working on another book. I’ll see the movie — Jeffrey Wright is an inspired bit of casting. The Vegas scenes look spot on how I envisioned them, too.

      • Slowsnow says:

        The Vegas bit really did live up to what I imagined in the trailer and also the beginning. It is an odd story which can be gripping in some bits but… well, we’ll agree to disagree :-)

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      I felt like half the book could have been cut! He just kept doing the same thing over and over in different cities. I hated this book.

  10. Amaryis says:

    I’ll be skipping it because I can’t stand Ansell Edgerton or whatever his name is.
    Something about his vacant staring & pouting as acting runs me the wrong way.

    • Anname says:

      He and Miles Teller are unwatchable to me. Both talented, but both so off-putting I can’t get past it. Neither of them can get over their own smugness.

  11. msn says:

    Donna Tartt has just got better with each book imo and The Goldfinch is wonderful, it felt very cinematic in a weird way and I wasn’t surprised the rights got snapped up and turned around so quickly.

    That being said, this casting is a bit strange, I don’t think Ansel Elgort’s Theo as a lowkey Harry Potter type works -I imagined him less preppy and more as a normie/skater-type, and I can’t imagine the Vegas section working…Ansel Elgort looks like he’d be broken by half the stuff that happens in Vegas. I love Jeffery Wright as Hobie, completely unexpected but great I think?!

    Does Gwyneth Paltrow still have the rights for The Secret History? Imagine that movie with one of the Fannings and one of the kids from Stranger Things !

    • Esmom says:

      Hi, I’ll come sit by you because I loved it, too. I actually pictured Theo pretty much how he’s depicted in the film, isn’t it funny how we can imagine completely different things? I also agree that Jeffrey Wright is inspired casting and in general the look and feel of the trailer seems to nail it in every aspect.

      • Venus says:

        I also loved the book! One of those where I stayed up untli 3:30 am reading. And yes, the trailer really nails its look and tone.

    • Jessica says:

      I would love to see The Secret History made or remade? Has it been done?

      • KatMatz says:

        I think Gwenyth Paltrow optioned it quite some time ago. I think she was going to play one of the twins. But it never got made.

    • Claudia says:

      I LOVE The Secret History and now I really really want it to be made into a movie.Please GP make it happen (with younger actors obviously now)!

  12. Coco says:

    This book really worked for me as an audio book if anyone is having trouble reading it.

    • Desical says:

      I loved the book. But I started it as an audiobook for a long, semi cross country drive and ran out of drive time. I started over with the book. I’ve started listening to The Secret History a bunch of times, but have not managed to make it very far. I know I should read it because I’ve heard a lot of people prefer it to the Goldfinch. I’m currently reading the Discovery of Witches series, but the third book has turned into a bit of a slog and I am determined to read Wolf Hall this summer.

      • Zoomzooms says:

        Save yourself the pain and skip Wolf Hall. I love historical fiction and it was an absolute slog. I found the narrative a little hard to follow as there are a ton of characters and many have the same names.

      • Becks1 says:

        Oh, I loved wolf hall, it takes some time to get used to the writing style/format though. I thought it was an interesting way to tell the story. Bring Up the Bodies was really good too.

  13. chlo says:

    Chiming in to give my unsolicited opinion: I hated this book. I slogged through it, but I hated it.

  14. PlayItAgain says:

    I have no idea what the plot is, but if it has that gormless twat Elgort in it, I hope it just fades away. I can’t stand him.

  15. MellyMel says:

    I loved this book so much and related to Theo in many ways, so I’m excited for this. But I know a few people who couldn’t get into it or thought it was too depressing.

  16. PlaidSheets says:

    I was not a fan of the book. I tried a few times to really get into but kept putting it back down. It didn’t feel genuine to be, if that makes sense. Plus it seemed like it was just waiting to be turned into a movie. I won’t be seeing the movie.

  17. shells_bells says:

    I read the book 5ish years ago and liked (not loved) it. The story was good, but it really needed some additional editing. Ansel looks exactly how I pictured Theo to look. It’s an interesting story with a good cast so I’ll watch it, but I’ll wait until I can stream it.

  18. adastraperaspera says:

    Hope they edit the movie better than they edited the book. Did not deserve a Pulitzer Prize, in my opinion.

  19. Catherine says:

    The book is phenomenal

  20. Amelie says:

    I thought the book was hugely overrated and Donna Tart’s writing to be so… over the top. Just the aftermath of the bombing in the Met at the beginning of the book took an entire CHAPTER, that scene went on forever And that last section with Theo high out of his mind stuck in the hotel in Amsterdam, that was 30-40 pages that could have been cut. Things moved so slowly and Theo was just a pathetic excuse of a person hung up on some girl he barely knew. Yes, he had a tough childhood but it didn’t excuse him from being a fraud and from being a shitty person.

    And the whole premise of the book–a young kid stealing a painting from the Met after it was bombed. Yeah that would never happen and was so unrealistic. Most people who survived would be looking to get out and be rescued, not steal some priceless work of art. Your survival instinct kicks in and you want OUT. And then the ending and how the whole painting story line turned out was SO STUPID.

    I also read The Secret History. That book was also similarly melodramatic and over the top. The ending was so stupid too. I just couldn’t bother to feel invested in any of the characters.

    I will probably see the movie and I’m hoping it’s better than the book. The book had its moments but overall I got frustrated with how adult Theo continued to use his mom’s death as an excuse for his shitty decisions. I really don’t understand people who extoll this book as some literary masterpiece. Also I checked and most of the book is available to read in the Amazon preview which I find hilarious.

  21. Lolagirl says:

    I loved this book! Co-sign on the end being awful, but the rest IS MAGIC. Very curious how this whole story is going to be wrapped up in a nice, neat little package.

  22. Lulu says:

    I never finished reading the book which has only happened about 4 times in my life, I usually tough it out no matter how much I’m not enjoying it.

  23. manda says:

    I loved the book but I love the way she writes. I love all the details about the characters. I have read all of her stuff

  24. Kris says:

    I loved this book. I remember reading it when it was a bestseller but before the Pulitzer. I read it long enough ago that I don’t remember everything and will enjoy the movie without picking it apart. I love all the casting, too.

  25. mildlynerdy says:

    I might be remembering this wrong, but weren’t the protagonist and his mother Native American in the Goldfinch? I was surprised to see Elgort and Kidman bc they are not at all the picture I had in my head off those characters when I read the book.

  26. Abby says:

    I read this book, and I don’t remember much about it, other than disliking just about every character by the end. It was depressing. I have to have someone to root for, and I just…. didn’t care. Such a long book, too.

    I just watched the preview and it’s well done, but I don’t think I’ll watch.