How ‘The Goldfinch’ Seeks Authenticity | Anatomy of a Scene
- Published: 13 September 2019
- This scene from “The Goldfinch” starts with a pair of chairs that look mighty similar. But only one is an antique with a long, rich history. The other merely replicates that history. In a film where the primary characters are trying to parse truth from fiction, authentic from impostor, the chairs are an apt metaphor.
Oakes Fegley plays the young Theo Decker, struggling to make sense of what’s real after surviving a bombing that killed his mother. He finds solace at an antique shop run by Hobie (Jeffrey Wright) and, in this scene, gets a lesson in authenticity.
Narrating the sequence, the director John Crowley explains how Wright met with art experts trained in spotting replicas and how that encounter helped him bring a tactile approach to his performance. Here he teaches Theo what to look for, and feel for, to recognize a reproduction.
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