The Goldfinch shows the perils of being too faithful to the book

Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort in The Goldfinch. | Courtesy of TIFF

A lackluster adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel is unlikely to please even the book’s biggest fans.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a book’s fans will complain about the movie version, and that’s fine. But more literary adaptations are wrecked by slavish source fidelity than by imaginative tweaks. Movies and books are different media, and they have to tell stories in different ways. As long as...

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