- Starring: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey maguire
- Summary: An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await.
- Director: Baz Luhrmann
- Genre(s): Drama, Romance
- More Details and Credits »
It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
As a purely sensory experience at the movies you're hard-pressed to find anything more dazzling than the first 90 minutes of The Great Gatsby, when Luhrmann's riotous amusements make anything possible.
The actors emote up a summer storm. Maguire’s otherworldly coolness suits the observer drawn into a story he might prefer only to watch. DiCaprio is persuasive as the little boy lost impersonating a tough guy, and Mulligan finds ways to express Daisy’s magnetism and weakness.
There are so many things wrong with Luhrmann's Great Gatsby - the filmmaker's attention-deficit-disorder approach, the anachronistic convergence of hip-hop and swing, the choppy elision of Fitzgerald's plot, the jarring collision of Jazz Age cool and Millennial cluelessness. But at the crux of things, the problem is that it's impossible to care.
So much effort seems to have gone into the eye-popping production design, swooping camera work and anachronistic musical score that the result is hyper-active cacophony rather than enthralling entertainment.
I love the publicity quotes by Baz Luhrmann stating that his intention was to make an epic romantic vision that is enormous. Also: overwrought, asinine, exaggerated and boring. But in the end, about as romantic as a pet rock.
May 10, 2013Saw this when it opened. Had low expectations because of movie critics who obviously grew up in the wrong era. The quality of the book is revived perfectly; It's a period peace, but transcends period with its subtle hints of modern music and style. Every actor was perfectly cast. It's heavy use of Art Deco (my favorite architectural style) fills the screen with beauty that reaches for the heavens, however unattainable they were and still are.
Gatsby looks to the past not with nostalgia, but with regret of what was and what will never be.
p.s. I am usually very anti-3d but this movies 3d really pulls you into the grandness of it all.… Expand
May 17, 2013Wonderfully done, I think this film is being largely overlooked because of reviewers' inability to stay open minded.
The soundtrack gets the most flak, followed by the party scenes at Gatsby's luxurious mansion. I actually find that the largest annoyance, for myself, was the ghostly text appearing on-screen and the odd transitions between future and past, cutting in Tobey McGuire's head at odd points. It seems that the film backs into some dull film tropes that don't quite fit the rest of the film's wonderfully extravagant scenes.
How does a director envision a 1920's book that depicted the Roaring Twenties in the extravagant and wondrous fashion that those living then felt? It only seems right to use a similar music style to our culture. Therefore, rap and R&B styles moved in, and I think it fits the crazy and loud parties that they experienced. Many will disagree, but this is all about adapting the text to fit our modern lifestyle, and it is logical to use the musical style that serves the same purposes that jazz served to the Roaring Twenties.
The acting was a strong point in the film, one that I was not expecting. Carey Mulligan wowed as Daisy, nailing her flowery voice and childish personality. Joel Edgareton was powerful as the strong and old-money rich Tom Buchanan, capturing his burly personality. To wrap up the wonderful acting, Leo was as good as ever, the best fit for Gatsby that I could imagine at any time period; a classy man who is beautiful but has the dark side of himself, the selfish area that has created an image that can't be achieved.
I do believe that Nick Carroway was miscast, as I think that Tobey isn't the best fit. He did okay, however, as the starstruck boy.
Enjoying this film was not hard for me, as a younger individual who appreciates the music style in the first place. If one is strongly connected to the Jazz of the twenties and the story, it's important to approach the film with an open-mind, and appreciate the acting.… Expand
May 29, 2013So, could Baz Luhrmann, with Jay-Z at his side, deliver a modern adaptation of the the Great American Novel that would be well received by all? I think the answer from the offset was always going to be no. Instead, Luhrmann delivers a visual feast of a film, one that tries to balance Luhrman's big number style with an authenticity to the source material but one that relies too heavily on narration, some cheap visual effects and ends up failing to fully flesh out the key relationship central to the story.
I don't have any specific problem with Baz Luhrmann's style, I liked his take on Romeo & Juliet and have managed to avoid Moulin Rouge so far. I thought he would be a good match for the glitz, glamour and decadence of the period and I thought this side of the film worked out well. The style factor was never going to be in doubt. The use of music in the film has been the subject of some debate and I'm going to side with the positive. It worked fairly well for me, hip hop goes hand in hand with excess and the modern songs fitted well with the music video style of Gatsby's parties. Lana Del Rey's song Young & Beautiful is mesmerisingly haunting and is the perfect accompaniment for the film's troubled lovers. Having not read the book and therefore not being aware of the literary themes in place this may be an unfair comment, especially if fans of the book appreciated the inclusion, but I felt the direction was slightly heavy handed in places, I certainly felt the references to the all-seeing eyes and green light were more than driven home.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives a mature, refined performance befitting the great nature of the man. Carey Mulligan is also excellent as Daisy, giving what I call a 'bambi' type performance complete with beautifully innocent doe eyes. She is let down by the direction/narrative, wherever you want to lay the blame, which doesn't do enough to make you understand the passion of Gatsby for the girl, especially given the choices she ultimately makes. Tobey Maguire is suited to the role of Carraway, though his key role in the film as narrator, really limited my enjoyment. The guy always seems to come off so square, disapproving and lame.
I enjoyed The Great Gatsby but I'm sure it won't suit all tastes.… Expand
May 17, 2013The Great Gatsby is a beautiful novel and while adapted to a film, it became visually beautiful. However, for some mystical reason the visual did not coincide well with the plot or the narrative. I was hearing the story from the narrator as oppose to seeing it. Close to the end I decided to shut my eyes and hear the story because it was the visuals were frankly redundant although spectacular. The fact that Jay Z executive produced this film is very obvious from when you hear Jay Z's music like you're at his concerts, it got too repetitive for me regardless of the quality of the actual music. Overall, Great Gatsby was unable to give us a full experience without one sense blinding the other.… Expand
Jan 21, 2014This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A long time ago every Saturday afternoon you could see an old movie on Flemish television.John Wayne,Danny Kay,Charlie Chaplin,Spencer Tracy,Mickey Rooney,Clint Eastwood etc. were seen weekly in a black and white or in those faded 60's Technicolor color movie.Regularly they played the old dance movies and musicals with well-known stars such as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth , Gene Kelly, Samy Davis Jr.. and many others.All situated in the 20's with men in tuxedos and women who float around in expensive evening gowns and overloaded with glitzy jewelry.A paragon of wealth and decadence which was reserved for some at that time.So I saw a lot of them passing by on the screen while dancing the Foxtrot.My hate and disgust for anything that smells like musical,is grown in that period.I skip each musical or dance film purely for the fact that they always start to sing or spontaneously start dancing for every trivial fact.Pancakes are made and you can expect there is a serenade on this baking process.Or there is some ordinary shopping done in a local supermarket , and before you know it, everyone dances a waltz in between the vegetables.Pfffft,nothing for me.
TGG itself is not exactly a true musical or dance film, but the decadent parties that Gatsby is organizing are dangerously close to it. I expected every moment an alignment of women dressed in swimsuits, extremely precise in a row, making a jump in sequential order and with deadly precision into Gatsby's enormous garden fountain. And yet I didn't like the choice of music. It didn't really fit the whole of this movie. The beginning of the song by Jay Z (I thought it was him) mixed with images of New York and the display of wealth that some people possess , I found successful. But the music does not fit with the swirling parties afterwards . In some way it clashed with the picture what you got in mind. And personally I thought that the interpretation of "Back and Black" was a blatant violation of the sublime song of Amy Whinehouse despite that Beyonce has a beautiful voice.
I haven't seen any previous films directed by Baz Luhrmann. I only know Moulin Rouge and i obviously haven't seen that for the well-known reasons that I already described above. It took some effort to get used to that airborne camera images in the beginning, but on the whole, his approach is sometimes grotesque. It looked all magical and fairy-like. Several times it had such an effect that was used in ancient times to emphasize a love scene or some magical moments. Those hazy and shimmering shadows around certain images. It reminded me sometimes of the first "Wizard of Oz" movie. The imposing and monstrous looking mansion of Gatsby looked like it was in a direct competition with the castle you can admire in Disneyland. So exaggerated. So it all looks decent and is terribly perfectly portrayed. The glamour of those days splashes of the screen, but at the same time, it all looks so fake . The computer animation department clearly had to do an extra effort. In terms of costumes for the characters, this film is matchless. Ditto for the props that can be admired throughout the film. From the Oldsmobiles that drive around until the furniture. In one word: masterful .
Tobey Maguire I think is the biggest flaw in this movie. The fact that he's a person who has to get over his alcohol problem and tells his story about Gatsby to a psychiatrist or physician, and at the same time has the appearance of a pubescent student, makes the whole rendition of Carraway totally unbelievable. By the way, I still think that his acting ability is limited to the sometimes silly staring into nothing, with such a moronic smile on his face . DiCaprio also looks too young for his portrayal as Gatsby . In fact you may well expect that he would have a face that shows how difficult his live has been. But I think Leo does an excellent performance as the mysterious and extravagant billionaire . Maybe a bit too melodramatic . And the phrase "Old sport" does not fit completely with him. Besides it really started to get on my nerves after a while hearing him saying that over and over again. A disadvantage is that it takes a while before he comes into the picture and then Maguire needs to carry the complete movie. And that failed miserably . For me, Joel Edgerton , who played Tom Buchanan, was the best actor in this film . The bravado and arrogance that he displayed was beautiful to watch.
I don't think I've ever read Fitzgerald's book.The content is actually a plain simple love story . The run-up to the meeting with Gatsby, I liked the most in this movie when Maguire moves into the small house overshadowed by the immense castle of the mysterious Gatsby. Once this is over,it's really only a dull and ordinary love story and Maguire is relegated to a pathetic spectator of the flirting between Gatsby and Dais.
Actually I expected more from TGG.It's is a damn long, boring and sad movie.… Expand
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