Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2h 29min
Warning – no babies for 15 Cert.
John Crowley (Brooklyn) brings Donna Tartt’s bestselling epic of loss, recovery, and art to vivid cinematic life.
Theo Decker’s life freezes when he is caught in a terrorist bombing at a New York art gallery, losing his mother and taking a treasured Dutch painting in the chaos. Alienated from his father and with few friends, Theo is steered into criminal activities, including hard drugs and art fraud, while remaining obsessed with both the painting, which he continues to hoard, and Pippa, a fellow survivor of the bombing. As the years pass, Theo’s guilt over hoarding the painting builds, and the crimes of his friends drag him into a worldwide quest to restore the painting and recover from the traumas of the past.
Crowley and screenwriter Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) match Tartt’s sweeping, emotionally charged story with similarly broad, but stirring conviction and energy, transposing the novel through a skilled cast, typically luminous cinematography from Roger Deakins, and skilled plotting that streamlines the novel without sacrificing emotional weight.
On film, Tartt’s richly melodramatic thrills and warmly intimate musings on grief and art’s ability to soften it do not lose their power.