Irish Eye on Hollywood:
John Crowley to Direct Goldfinch Adaptation
John Crowley is staying literary, but going bigger. After directing the Oscar-nominated Irish immigrant saga Brooklyn, Crowley was the toast of Ireland’s movie scene. The movie – starring Saoirse Ronan as an Irish immigrant in 1950s New York, based on the moving novel by Colm Tóibín – was a hit with critics and audiences alike. It was ultimately nominated for three Oscars – Best Actress (Ronan), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.
For all the accolades, the question inevitably rises: What’s next?
Well, Crowley is going to direct a film based on yet another acclaimed New York book – Donna Tart’s epic The Goldfinch. The book, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is a coming-of-age tragedy following Theo Decker, who loses his mother in a terrorist bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Prior to the chaos, Theo was mesmerized by a young girl who had also been strolling the museum with an elderly man. After the bomb explodes, the old man gives Theo a ring – and (perhaps) tells him to steal the famous painting that gives the book its title. All of this sets this long, fascinating book in motion, as we follow Theo well into adulthood. The Goldfinch was a massive best-seller, though some prominent critics did suggest it was overrated. The Irish connections to The Goldfinch are not nearly as prominent as they are in Brooklyn but there are some. Theo’s mother, for example, is described as “half Irish, half Cherokee.”
Less flatteringly, several “moving-and-storage guys” are described as “New York City Irish, lumbering, good-natured guys who hadn’t quite made it into the police force or fire department.” And a building where the “doormen were still mostly Irish” includes one with a drinking problem. There is no word yet on a release date for The Goldfinch, but you can bet it will get plenty of Oscar buzz. ♦
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