'The Goldfinch' Called a 'Disaster' in First Reviews of Donna Tartt Adaptation from TIFF

The reviews for the hugely anticipated movie adaptation of Donna Tartt's Pulitzer-winning The Goldfinch are in, and they are not generous.

The Goldfinch, directed by John Crowley and starring Nicole Kidman, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Sunday, prompting a flood of negative reactions on social media and in biting first reviews.

Indiewire's chief film critic David Ehrlich and The Globe and Mail's film editor Barry Hertz dubbed the drama a "disaster."

The Goldfinch is adapted from Donna Tartt's best-selling 2013 novel of the same name and tells the story of Theo Decker, a 13-year-old boy who survives a terrorist bombing at a museum that kills his mother. The book won 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

As well as Kidman, The Goldfinch stars Ansel Elgort as Theo, Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and Sarah Paulson.

The Goldfinch reviews are in

Critics who saw the film at TIFF expressed particular distaste for The Goldfinch's long running time (two hours and 30 minutes) and lack of excitement.

The film has just a 29 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

"THE GOLDFINCH was so bland and boring, I just. I really can't say much other than nothing happens for almost 2 hrs," tweeted critic Yolanda Machado.

BuzzFeed's Adam B. Vary said it was "gorgeous and airless," and that Crowley's adaptation had an "absurdly rushed and busy final act."

In his review, Collider's Matt Goldberg said The Goldfinch was a "tedious chore" to watch, writing that while it aims to explore the complexities of grief and loss, it "lacks the style or substance to be anything more than a gigantic waste of time."

"The film never wants to dive too deeply into anything, and instead just splatters a bunch of issues, characters, and emotions on the wall," wrote Goldberg.

The Hollywood Reporter meanwhile said The Goldfinch was a "disappointing adaptation of a great book," taking umbrage with its attempt to pack Tartt's lengthy 784-page novel into the confines of a conventional film, rather than a television series.

Critic Todd McCarthy argues the movie "simply doesn't have the room or time to properly accommodate the piece's plot and multitude of milieux and characters."

In more positive reactions, there was a lot of praise for the film's cast—Kidman, Elgort, Wolfhard and Paulson—for doing the best they could with the material they were given.

"The actors all do what they can, and some — Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson — manage to shake the film out of its chilly self-consciousness," tweeted Vary of BuzzFeed.

The Guardian's Benjamin Lee praised Elgort for "quietly anchoring an uneven film," and also complimented "another strong performance from an on-a-roll Kidman," as well as co-star Jeffrey Wright.

The Goldfinch is released in theaters Friday.

'The Goldfinch' Called a 'Disaster' in First Reviews of Donna Tartt Adaptation from TIFF | Culture