Halfway through the festival, TIFF seems to have picked this year’s catastrophe: The Goldfinch, John Crowley’s adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel.
The film was one of the crown jewels of this year’s lineup, and after its world premiere Sunday night, the film has been treated to even more scathing reviews than Jojo Rabbit.
Now, that pendulum has swung back to Toronto: In the press lounge Tuesday afternoon, a few journalists mentioned that they’d dropped the film from their schedules as swiftly as they’d once dropped Life, Itself.
However, that reference to booing appears to be metaphorical — I haven’t seen any evidence that the film was booed during its official premiere, and it certainly wasn’t booed during the critics’ screening I attended earlier in the festival.
The editing is genuinely baffling: Rather than simply proceeding in chronological order, or flashing back regularly between past and present, the film attempts to mimic Tartt’s time-jumping structure, which doesn’t work at all.
For a few minutes I was convinced poor Finn Wolfhard’s Boris had been cut from the film entirely, but nope, we just had to spend some completely random time with Ansel before we could get to him.
So instead I’ll just say that it’s a shame to dub The Goldfinch this year’s disaster when there are still so many more contenders waiting in the wings.