A 13-year-old boy named Theo Decker accompanies his beloved mother on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see an exhibition of Dutch masters, including her favorite painting — Carel Fabritius‘ “The Goldfinch,” His world soon turns upside-down after a bomb explodes and kills his mother before his eyes. He escapes injury, but not before he impulsively steals the artwork that he will secretly carry around through the course of his dramatic and drug-filled life.
Donna Tartt‘s chunky best-seller that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is now a movie starring Ansel Elgort of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Baby Driver” as Theo and Nicole Kidman as the socialite matriarch of the family who takes in the motherless boy. The drama due to open on Sept. 13 — a prime spot in awards season — is directed by John Crowley, whose 2o15 film “Brooklyn” was up for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress for Saoirse Ronan and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Also in the cast is Luke Wilson as Theo’s abusive alcoholic gambler father, Sarah Paulson as his dad’s prostitute girlfriend and Jeffrey Wright as Theo’s mentor. The role of Theo’s best mate, Boris, is shared by Finn Wolfhard (TV’s “Stranger Things”) and Aneurin Barnard (“Dunkirk”).
Will Oscar come calling? Literary adaptations that fail to live up to what readers saw in their heads can be dicey affairs. A lot depends on the reactions of rabid fans of the book that kept the novel on the New York Times best-seller list for over 30 weeks. But given that its cinematographer is Roger Deakins, a 14-time Oscar nominee who finally won for 2017’s “Blade Runner 2049,” one hopes — as the trailer above suggests — that the big-screen adaptation will at the very least capture the emotionally turbulent story visually.