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Awards Profile 2019: John Crowley’s ‘The Goldfinch’ from Warner Bros.

Welcome to the 2019 Awards Profile series, where we talk about films coming to a theater near you in the coming year (at least at this time of writing). The series analyzes the films and their awards season potential, most notably for the Academy Awards, based on the talents attached, filmmakers involved, and story and source material.  Monday through Friday until mid-May, AwardsCircuit will bring you a new and exciting project and discuss its chances for success. If you have a suggestion for a movie we should cover, include it in the comments section below. If you miss a film covered, click on the tag or category for “Awards Profile.”

FILM: “The Goldfinch”

DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros. Pictures
PRODUCERS: Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson
DIRECTOR: John Crowley
WRITER: Peter Straughan
CAST: Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson
SYNOPSIS: A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Scheduled Release: September 13, 2019


Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Donna Tartt, the arrival of the film adaptation of “The Goldfinch” will come with high expectations. Fans will be eager to see this beloved novel brought to life, which could make it into one of the most anticipated fall releases this year. In addition to its inherent literary pedigree, the film also brings together some impressive talent. Behind the camera is director John Crowley, who will have surely amassed some goodwill from his acclaimed tearjerker “Brooklyn” in 2015. If he can once again bring that same emotional resonance, “The Goldfinch” could be a strong Oscar contender indeed.

There’s, even more, to be excited about from the film’s cast, which includes rising star Ansel Elgort in the lead role. As one of the most sought after young actors in Hollywood, he seems poised for a major awards breakthrough. Playing his mother is an actress who is no stranger to awards, namely Nicole Kidman. The statuesque Australian has seemingly carved out a niche in similarly sympathetic mother roles, with excellent performances in both TV and film in the last few years. Pundits will surely keep their eye on her during the awards season.

Rounding out some of the film’s notable talent are the venerable Roger Deakins as the cinematographer, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Straughan, and Emmy-winner editor Kelley Dixon. On paper, “The Goldfinch” looks like a classic Oscar frontrunner.


While the film bears all the hallmarks of an awards movie, its release date does not inspire confidence. It is rare that a Best Picture nominee is released in September, with the last such example being “Moneyball” back in 2011. For “The Goldfinch” to remain in the conversation, it will have to really stand out. However, certain elements of the story feel like they’ve been done before. Nicole Kidman’s role could end up feeling like a retread of her performance in “Lion”, while the pivotal tragedy could potentially take this story into the notoriously schmaltzy territory of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”. As the Academy continues to evolve, will “The Goldfinch” get voters excited?


  • Motion Picture – Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson
  • Director – John Crowley
  • Actress in a Leading Role – Ansel Elgort
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Nicole Kidman
  • Adapted Screenplay – Peter Straughan


  • Best Supporting Actress for Nicole Kidman (Screen Actors Guild): If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that actors love Nicole Kidman. Especially those in the Screen Actors Guild, who have given her six nominations this decade. Even if the film fails to generate much buzz, she seems like just the kind of early release nominee that SAG loves to surprise with.

What do you think of “The Goldfinch” as an Oscar contender? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!


What do you think?

AC Fan

Written by Shane Slater

Shane is a passionate cinephile and Tomatometer-approved film critic residing in Kingston, Jamaica. When he's not watching or writing about film, he spends much of his time wishing he lived in a big city. Shane is an avid world traveler and loves attending film festivals. He is a member of the African-American Film Critics Association.

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