The Goldfinch, movie vs book

I was in the middle of writing my thoughts on the book version of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and then I realized that I should just wait until the movie comes out to write up my thoughts on both together.

If you’ve read the book and haven’t seen the movie, I’d suggest not reading ahead.

The book is about 800 pages and I listened to the audiobook version which is about 35 hours long. Listening to it entirely took me about a month since I was listening on and off. The book is great, Tartt does a great job of describing important scenes and emotions within and around Theo. A lot of stuff happens in the book and so the 800 pages feel warranted and not excessive in my opinion.

Now, the movie tries to squeeze everything that happens in the book in about 2 and a half hours. That’s not enough time. Some scenes felt like they were skimmed or filmed for the sake of showing fans the faces to characters they’ve read a lot about. My favorite character, Hobie, gets little screen time and as someone who is such an interesting character, he is hardly shown in his true form. The casting for Hobie was perfect but a little bit of screen time doesn’t make up for that.

The plot is extremely intricate in the book and in the movie, it’s confusing and downright annoying at times because things just don’t make any sense from scene to scene.

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