I went out to AMC Lufkin with the plan to see two movies on a Saturday night, turns out I only watched one. And that one was The Goldfinch, the film based off the Pulitzer Prize winning novel that I now want to read.

I admit, the first trailer for this movie had me scratching my head, figuratively, wondering what the hell it was supposed to be about. The second trailer, though, sold me on seeing the movie.

Good job, second trailer editor.

With an incredible cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, Finn Wolfhard, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson, and Ansel Elgort, aka Baby from Baby Driver, director John Crowley tells the story of a guilt ridden boy who bounces from one thing to another in his life, betrayed & used left and right, until he is able to finally make amends for himself, with the help of a childhood friend, and close out a years’ long chapter of his life and move on.

And it is all centered around a small painting of a bird chained to a set of bars in the wall.

As a boy, Theo is caught in an explosion of unknown origin at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. His mother is a victim of the explosion, and he is taken in by a classmate’s family, where he remains for the school year until his father arrives & moves him to the Nevada desert. There, he meets Boris, a Ukrainian boy. From Nevada, Theo runs away back to New York, where he remains with Hobbie, a furniture dealer he met after the explosion in the museum. He tries to make a life for himself, but it all comes apart on the eve of his marriage.

None of this movie is told in a straight forward way; there are flashbacks and dream sequences throughout.

Also, quite a bit of smoking, drug abuse, drinking, some violence with very little bloodshed, one same sex kiss for those who may be offended by that, and a true lack of appreciation that art is for people to see, not something to be hidden away from the world.

Oakes Fegley plays the young Theo, and a lot of the movie rests on him. And he does not disappoint. Ansel Elgort is the young adult Theo, and he is unrecognizable from his role in Baby Driver, a movie I enjoyed when it came out in theaters a couple of years ago. Thanks again to my friend who recommended I see it, since it wasn’t even on my radar prior to its release.

And Finn Wolfhard? Stranger Things, IT, and now this? I hope the dude has a long career ahead of him.

Luke Wilson was a surprise, ya don’t usually see him as such an asshole in a movie role.

This is not a popcorn movie, it’s telling a serious story and expects the audience to keep up. And I hope that when award season rolls around, it isn’t forgotten.

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