‘The Goldfinch’ premiered at TIFF and critics absolutely loathed it

Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Oakes Fegle...

Here are some photos from Sunday night’s TIFF premiere event for The Goldfinch, the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt. I’m including photos of Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort (older Theodore Decker), Oakes Fegley (young Theodore Decker), Luke Wilson and Sarah Paulson. Paulson wore a polka-dotted Prada, which seems very on-brand for her style but is actually a really bad dress overall. Nicole wore Chanel, everything Chanel. It looks like they accidentally sent her a too-short dress and she decided to make it work by adding those boots. But in truth, I think this was how they planned the look. It’s kind of awful too.

Anyway, people had very strong feelings about the book, and there was a lot of hope that the film adaptation was going to be one of the big Oscar-bait/Oscar contenders this year. Except it sounds like critics screening The Goldfinch in Toronto absolutely hate the film (except Vanity Fair, which says it’s not all bad):

The Goldfinch red carpet premiere at TIFF 2019

The Goldfinch red carpet premiere at TIFF 2019

The Goldfinch red carpet premiere at TIFF 2019

Photos courtesy of WENN and Avalon Red.

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26 Responses to “‘The Goldfinch’ premiered at TIFF and critics absolutely loathed it”

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  1. Aimee says:

    I’m disappointed. I loved the book.

  2. MsAnneguish says:

    Chanel clearly haven’t been able to measure the right lengths this season – KStew’s trousers needed to be taken up a couple of inches, and Nicole’s dress either needed to be shorter (just below knee) or a few inches longer.

    And poor Sarah’s dress makes her hips look grossly out of proportion… who’s she smuggling down there?

  3. Catherine says:

    Oh no!! Loved the book and was really looking forward to the movie. The book is great. Felt really personal to me, a study on grief, trauma, and a great look at teenage minds. It’s a tragedy, to be sure but also very charming and funny. “When you grow up in chaos, you continue to create chaos Into adulthood because it’s all you know.” Maybe the movie is like Theo, he could be GREAT but can’t allow himself to get there. Damn disappointing

  4. Valerie says:

    I didn’t see the movie (saw Marriage Story at the same theater), but I ended up seeing the whole cast come out at the stage door after. The suit she was wearing then was so much nicer than the dress! Sarah Pauley looked amazing. Denis O’Hare was adorable! Seems like such a sweet guy.

  5. Hnmmom says:

    I hated that book. I was so disappointed in how awful it was, I was such a fan of The Secret History.

    • dlc says:

      I couldn’t even finish the Goldfinch, but loved the Secret History. I’m surprised they didn’t make that into a movie.

    • Erica says:

      I’ll have to try the Secret History! I read The Goldfinch for a book club and loathed it. It was well written but so overly traumatic/dramatic. I skipped all the internal dialogue on the last couple of pages and thought, ‘Well, at least she didn’t kill off the dog!’

    • Kate says:

      Agree! I loathed it. I thought it was rambling, the two halves of the books didn’t mesh together, and the ending that summed up the book (because apparently she couldn’t get the point across in the first 750 pages) was condescending and rage-inducing.

    • ojulia123 says:

      OMG – thank you for posting this – all of you. I thought I was the only one. I loved The Secret History, too – it’s one of my favorite books. I really wanted to love The Goldfinch but I just…couldn’t.

  6. Lady D says:

    Sarah’s dress. Words fail me.

  7. Rice says:

    Okay, don’t hate me but I like Sarah’s dress.

  8. lucy2 says:

    Well that’s disappointing. I love Nicole and Sarah, so maybe I’ll still watch it for them.

    The book has been sitting on my shelf forever, taunting me with its massiveness. Sooner or later I’ll read it.

  9. manda says:

    I loved this book and it is super unsurprising that they dropped the ball on the movie. Way too much detail. There is no way this would have been good. Maybe a show would have been better.

    Also, ugh, I really have distaste for ansel elgort

  10. MellyMel says:

    Well that sucks! I love this book so much…it’s one of my faves!

  11. Kate says:

    Hated the book, glad to have an excuse to skip the movie.

  12. Courtney says:

    Ha, I read the dress comment as: “It looks like they accidentally sent her a too-short dress and she decided to make it *worse* by adding those boots.” Lol.

    • Raina says:

      She reminds me of someone who is determined to make blonde hair work even if it kills her. It’s like me with flannel.

      Her acting choices are extremely hit or miss.

  13. Blerg says:

    I actually like the length of Nicole’s dress, but not with the boots. And I don’t know why l like that odd length—longer than tea but shorter than floor—but I do.

    • Blerg says:

      Also…I am a big fan of Peter Straughan’s work (and of his wife Bridget, who passed away almost a decade ago—love her short stories, and they did right by John LeCarré with their Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy script), and I am surprised to hear the Goldfinch screenplay is subpar.

  14. Amelie says:

    From the trailer I could tell it was going to be a big pile of nope. The book is a glorious mess and I really don’t understand why people love it. Theo is a messed up adult because of the tragedy he suffered at a young age and uses this as an excuse for being an overall horrible person for the rest of his life, committing fraud, betraying his guardian’s trust, and inexplicably being hopelessly in love with that red haired girl (forget her name) because they both survived the same terrorist attack? And in the midst of the shock and trauma you are going to have me believe a preteen boy had the presence of mind to steal a painting right after a bomb went off… so much of the plot is not believable.

    Donna Tart is a good writer but she dedicated a whole chapter of weird experimental writing to describe the aftermath of the bomb. And the last 100 pages omg don’t get me started. Theo high on drugs in a hotel… at least 70 pages are dedicated to Theo just binging on drugs in a hotel room in Europe and his internal monologue. It is some of the worst plotting and writing I have ever read. And then at the end the whole gotcha with the painting’s location… the book could have been 200 pages shorter. The book often reads as a series of disjointed short stories. I could keep going but I read a lot and this is one of the most tedious train wrecks I’ve ever read.

  15. Gail says:

    I liked the book, but cast Chris Evans and Jessica Chastain in my mind whilst reading it. I hate when Hollywood casting doesn’t match up with my own! Lol.

  16. JoanCallamezzo says:

    Can’t believe they made this movie. I slogged through this book I don’t get its appeal at all.