Playlist gives it a C+
[quote]But for all its passionate feeling and melodrama, ‘Gatsby’ is rarely moving, and that's a major flaw for a movie that drags on for two-and-a-half hours. “The Great Gatsby” is ultimately an epic tragedy, a parable about America, the American dream ethos and its consequences, but the movie’s overblown style chokes the life out of any substance the story may have. And while faithful to Fitzgerald’s novel, some of its themes just don’t track within the movie. Carraway is supposed to be practically besotted with his friend Gatsby. As in the novel, the wide-eyed character is in awe of Gatsby’s “heightened sensitivity to the promises of life…an extraordinary gift for hope…such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again.” The problem with such convenient, lofty proverbs ripped from the book is that the movie never actually demonstrates them, so they are not only unbelievable and hard to buy emotionally, but hollow sentiments.
[quote]A kind of visual and sonic overkill, “The Great Gatsby” never knows when to say when. Music-wise the movie is often at its most egregious, the use of the anachronistic modern songs in the movie frequently border on ridiculous. Sure, sprinkles of modern juxtaposition can work (see the films of Quentin Tarantino that seem to pull it off), but near wall-to-wall songs, modern or otherwise, are quickly grating and overbearing. Luhrmann’s stylistic approach to ‘Gatsby’ seems to scream “reeeeemix!” at all times. Jay-Z, the modern hustler, is perhaps the perfect person to pull together the soundtrack to Jay Gatsby, the jazz-age con artist. And while it’s a cute recontextualization of themes, it comes across as a stylistic flourish that lends no substance to the film. Lana del Ray’s obnoxious heartbreak song is played ad nauseum, and the parties! It’s as if Luhrmann is convinced that this age of decadence and debauchery was one big techno pop rave, so why not just pump up the volume and zoom the camera around with shebang, pow, pop and whiz.
[quote]DiCaprio is good, no doubt, even in a role that’s largely unsympathetic (another problem with ‘Gatsby’ is its lack of protagonist as the POV keeps shifting from Carraway back to Gatsby and so forth), but Mulligan is almost a lovelorn stand-in with nothing to do but look troubled in her immaculately tailored costumes. As the arrogant and brute-ish Tom, Edgerton probably has the meatiest role, but he too mostly has to sneer as the haughty villain of the picture. Maguire is such a non-entity, one wonders what his career would do without the "Spider-Man" films.
The trailers look dreadful- like an overblown fantasy world- overlit- artificial etc.
So many movies today have such an artificial look- in a way they rival the glossy black and white style of the 30s and 40s. Hollywood movies, in general, we at their best from the mid 60s to about 1980 when they became stylized and formulaic again. Big generalization. The best film aside from the occasional big Hollywood film (Lincoln) are independents.
I hope Gatsby is better than this review, but as I said, the trailer is bad and DeCaprio is just not the type of actor to carry the Gatsby character. He's in over his head again.
But maybe not!
[quote]DiCaprio is a total misfire as Gatsby, thick and expressionless and unable to evoke any real sense of longing, and Tobey Maguire plays Carraway more as feeble-minded than anything else
[quote]The soundtrack is probably the weakest for any of the Luhrmann films, and that includes "Australia." In almost every other movie he's made, I can name key moments or scenes that are defined by their music, but here, it's just a non-stop wallpaper of guest appearances by people who are famous RIGHT THIS MOMENT, and none of it sticks.
I wanted to see this but I just checked Amazon for the soundtrack and they don't have the samples up yet, but I don't think I want to watch a two and half hour movie about the thirties scored with Jay Z AND Beyond songs with explicit lyric warnings.
But it sure does look good.
r3 - exactly. Oh and he's got Bewigged in there as well, Kanye and the rest of the shitty people. Ugh. I love Baz, I hate Jay-Z and his whole entourage.
Honestly, who thought this was going to be a masterpiece? In the original thread about the film, the consensus of opinion mirrored the reviews. Particularly about JayZ and the soundtrack. It had crapfest written all over it from the very start.
This will be LD's first flop in a long time.
So Leo won't get an Oscar this time either.
J. Edgar was his last flop, R12.
He still has the Wolf of Wall Street, this fall R13.
Hated Moulin Rouge. One of the worst movies ever.
I saw Moulin Rouge at a Valentine's day screening and what can I say.
I know why I avoided it all these years, I knew I would hate it but it surpassed my expectations as to how bad it actually was.
I loved Moulin Rouge, but then again, it didn't have the Jay-Z soundtrack. This does.
I love all Baz's movies even Australia. Little worried about Gatsby after seeing the reviews posted here. Might be too much this time but I'll see.
I think Bieber would make a better Gatsby. He would give depth and diminsion to the character that Leo has yet to discover. Buble does the music. Imagine the magic.
Leo is doing too many movies back to back to back. People are starting to get tired of him. He should try only releasing one movie within a 12 month period instead of three.
Both Variety and Hollywood Reporter singled out the actress playing Jordan Baker. Her brief moment in the trailer was the only thing that interested me.
We knew it would be a cartoon, but didn't know it was a boring one.
Now we know.
R21, Bieber would be smart casting.
[quote]What Luhrmann grasps even less than previous adapters of the tale is that Fitzgerald was, via his surrogate Carraway, offering an eyewitness account of the decline of the American empire, not an invitation to the ball.
That's the problem in a nutshell, and one that I think most Americans still have with the novel. We're still a culture where everyone believes they're one big payday away from living large, and that everyone's really a star. No one wants to be told otherwise, so adaptations of Gatsby will always either misconstrue the material or purposefully distort it to pander to the audience's American Idol delusions.
I think the biggest problem is Gatsby is one of those books that just doesn't translate well to the screen.
I couldn't sit through more than a half hour of Moulin Rouge. Nicole Kidman never looked hotter but the music never grabbed me. And I like Ewan MacGregor but in small doses. His teeth are always a distraction.
[quote]That's the problem in a nutshell, and one that I think most Americans still have with the novel. We're still a culture where everyone believes they're one big payday away from living large, and that everyone's really a star. No one wants to be told otherwise, so adaptations of Gatsby will always either misconstrue the material or purposefully distort it to pander to the audience's American Idol delusions.
I agree with you but fell that because American's do think that way that maybe only the most realistic or sober within that culture will get the message not matter how you present it. The message is present within the story it's the viewer that either gets it or doesn't.
Maybe it's me but I think Leo is a pretty believable actor - in the scene from J. Edgar where Armie Hammer first walks into his office he looks like he's going to have an orgasm right then and there!
I don't think they should have made it because all the people that read it back in the olden days are, like, dead 'n shit.
Demi Moore, dieting
He wasn't acting, r30.
I think Luhrmann wanted to contrast the glitz of the era with the childlike actors moving around in shoes too big for them....but in that case, he produced the wrong cast for it.
Bertolucci,Lynch,Luhrmann,it's a joy to be taken on a trip to wherever they would like to take me.
Moulin Rouge is one of the most visually beautiful films ever made.
R31, I've participated in those free preview test screenings. People that attend are very biased in favor of the flick, or they stay home.
R8, it's the Twenties.
The greatness of the novel is in the prose, not the plot. It's a novel where nothing much happens until the car accident. It will never translate well into film.
Reading the novel for the second time. I first read Gatsby when I was in college. The prose is beautiful. I am a big fan of the Farrow/Redford movie (go ahead, flame away)
but I am curious to see this special effects laden filmed in New Zealand 3D remake. Don't expect to like it very much but I want to give it a try.
Why do studios keep spending insane amounts of money trying to make film adaptations of a book that's affectionately referred to as "unfilmable?"
Casting Tobey McGuire proves some greedy producer was just looking for a tax write off!
What R38 said. My favorite part of Gatsby is the last line of the book, "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
r41, I disagree somewhat.
I think it's possible to distill it and put it into visual language. Hollywood probably isn't the best place to do it.
The casting here is tragic. I thought the Redford version was bad. JFC
R42, Can you please explain why you thought that the Redford version was so bad?
Maybe it's a result of having read/seen them around the same time (early teens), but in my head I have always seen The Great Gatsby as Side A with They Shoot Horses, Don't They? as Side B.
Both works make me feel oddly suffocated, meandering about in a way that feels like an aimless road trip you just know won't end well. Gatsby is just prettier on the surface. And that's what I feel was missing from the Redford/Farrow adaptation. It is that deadly chase after the "American Dream" everybody lies and tells you can live, if you just work really hard. The money, the estates, the beautiful people, HAPPINESS!--all this can be yours, if you just jump through these arbitrary hoops. Easy money, right, Gig Young?
Doesn't sound as though the Luhrman vehicle does any better; god knows the cast aren't close in ability (or looks) to Redford, Waterston, Dern, Black, Chiles, and Farrow.
I'm not R42 but I remember there was a lot of hype when the movie came out. Lots of ads, and tie- ins much like it is today for all big movies.
The reviews were mixed to negative. However, in an article in yesterday's NY Times about the remake, it was stated that the Redford/Farrow version did make money.
Great musical score by Nelson Riddle too that incorporated many standards from the 20's And the blu ray that came out last month is georgous.
I am the plainest Daisy in film history.
You can put me in sequined Prada til the cows come home, but I am still a pale English girl with a face like a potato mm
R46, As I suggested in the other Gatsby thread, it's not what Mulligan's face looks like that's the issue. In pics she's not portraying the correct attitude of the "to the manor born." There are plenty of very, very plain girls that "smell" of established wealth even from a distance away. It's a combination of posture, carriage, body language, etc that a very talented actress should be able to portray despite her real upbringing. Personally I think Mulligan should have looked to Diane Sawyer for inspiration on elegance, and then watched a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for classy sexuality.
R47 is right. Take for instance Jacqueline Kennedy. She wasn't really that pretty, but she carried herself as if she shit diamonds and gave world class blowjobs. That's no small feat.
R48, Thank you for your support, although we have a very different "style" of writing.
I've met Laura Bush. Although surprisingly petite, she also carried herself like a true Southern belle. Maybe she acquired it having to deal with constant (and not necessarily undeserved) comments about her husband.
R49, Leo should have been nominated for best supporting actor in Django. I actually thought he was better than Waltz (who was great too).
I'm another one who doesn't think the Redford/Farrow version is bad, though Redford is a dull blank in the lead.
R44 has a point about the film not quite capturing the emptiness of what Daisy represents and what Gatsby desires. But it did get some other things right. Farrow was much better as Daisy that the reviews, but I also think the critics at the time chafed at the commercial tie-ins for the film which weren't the norm that they are now.
I once saw the 1949 film version at the Museum of Modern Art back in the late 80's, and other than Alan Ladd as Gatsby (he's much more what the part needs than Redford could manage), the film is not good.
DiCaprio doesn't have a lot of range, which is why people are getting tired of him--too many projects in to short a time where achieves basically the same effect.
He also always seems a little light to me--lacking a kind of gravitas that would help him be more successful in really adult roles. He's got a little, but just not enough to come across as something other than a ticked-off aging fratboy.
Lol. When else has a movie been trashed based on its soundtrack?
Well, maybe not solely because of its soundtrack, but there have definitely been instances of where soundtracks were identified as being a major problem contributing to a bomb.
R52, Thanks for your post. I clearly remember the book, required reading in high school "millions" of years ago, and never understood the angst behind the story before. Of course learning the the real author had a similar lust for the lifestyle if not the actual girl similar to Daisy also makes a big difference.
The 1949 version is on Youtube. It's awful. No attempt to capture the period and Myrtle's car crash is hilarious. Are there any movies that Shelley Winters survives?
[quote]DiCaprio doesn't have a lot of range, which is why people are getting tired of him--too many projects in to short a time where achieves basically the same effect.
I agree. He's getting tiresome. By the time that Wall Street movie comes out this fall, he will have released 3 films within a 12-month period. The Leo overload is too much.
In a world where most teenage characters are played by 30 year-olds, Leo always looks to me like a 15 year old in his father's suit.
Leo has another shot later this year with the Scorsese film.
The final line in Gatsby is certainly one of the best final lines in any novel in American lit. The book is full of those wordsmith jewels. And that's why the film won't ever be as good as the book. You can't capture on film the beauty of language.
It's why a Henry Miller novel or even most Virginia Woolf novels or William Faulkner novels just don't make good movies, though they make near perfect novels.
Actually I thought Redford was excellent for the part. Hustling midwesterner...not a gangster, but someone who would ally with them to get what he wanted. Also not so demonstrative as Leo.
It was the others who were kind of lame in the 74 production, but Redford as Gatsby was probably closer to what Fitzgerald had in mind.
How old was Redford when he played Gatsby? Actually I thought that Leo was best in Catch Me If You Can, when he played a teen trying to act like a man, and barely pulling it off. He does better in "lightweight" characters, rather than one where you really need to portray several layers of conflicting emotions, due to different and even contradictory influences, to pull it all off and have the role make sense.
I see Gatsby as a reflection of the author's own inner turmoil, driven to conform to an ideal that doesn't always fit what his heart and brain dictates, yet idealizing that goal in the form of a fantasy person that would never make him truly happy or satisfied for very long.
Leo should have looked very deep inside himself, to draw from his actions of choosing highly desirable models to showmance, when he'd obviously really rather hang out with his buds and party away from the paps. We should have seen that comeraderie (sp) of male comfort and ease in his friendship with Nick. His complicated feelings towards the various women in his life should have provided perfect emotional fodder for his attitude towards Daisy, the perfect "coat hanger and arm candy."
What in heaven's name distinguishes a movie that gets a grade of 'C' from one that merits a C-plus? What is the "plus" for, clean teeth in close-ups?
"In a world where most teenage characters are played by 30 year-olds, Leo always looks to me like a 15 year old in his father's suit."
Like most men who stayed boyish through their twenties, he changed from boyishly cute to troll in his thirties. The boyishness was last seen in the excellent "Catch Me If You Can", which I recommend.
And while I love R61 suggestion that Leo should have looked at his own shallow relationships before making this film, I doubt he'd learn anything from them. Gatsby mistakes his ambition and envy for love, I'm pretty sure that Leo has never convinced himself that he loves any of those models.
R65, Did you mean R61 or me, R63? Actors need to use their own complex emotional experiences
and attitudes to portray characters on film. I don't believe that Leo loves or even really likes any of the Victoria's Secret models which with he's papped. I do think that he adores the envy from the average straight male who wishes he could be in the same position.
Likewise is Gatsby deeply infatuated with Daisy or does she represent an ideal of which he wants to be a part, like a man acquiring the latest high-end sports car to feel that he's finally made "it."
How foolish men in the 1920's and still today look who "buy" a much younger "escort" or other possession, in the hopes of advancing their "image." At least the sports car is not capable of feelings towards its owner. Is the character of Daisy any different? One hopes that Leo's models, or George Clooney's, would at least appreciate the new lifestyle that comes with being "acquired."
Rex Reed hated it.
R31, now it's 40% at Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5.5/10. Granted, there are only 25 so far.
I was big fan of Baz's Romeo and Juliet (I was a young teen then) and I enjoyed watching Australia even if it was a bit too long. I never saw Moulin Rouge, but I don't know, maybe I'll see this anyway. There aren't a lot of good options for movies this month. Not interested in another crappy Hangover, or Will Smith and his spawn, or Star Trek and JJ Abrams screen flares.
Really, the ONLY movie you should see this weekend is "Aftershock"!!!
Eli Roth Women being crushed by buildings = Pure Fun
R68, Rotten Tomatoes ratings are taken from viewers (like me) who have been treated to free critics' previews. Since they tend to be very biased audiences, meaning that they have to have a strong interest in the genre, actors, and type of flick to even attend, and people are reluctant to dis a free event, ratings are always inflated.
Know many that want to see this movie, even if it's only to laugh at the expense seen onscreen. So many have had to read the book. So ironic in light of a story about the ridiculousness of excess, in a time of over-excess vs lack of personal values and humanity, contrasting with massive poverty and a struggle among many just to survive at a bare minimum level,
What are you talking about, R70? RT is an average of critic reviews.
The 1974 trailer for THE GREAT GATSBY
Beautiful musical score by Nelson Riddle that combined 20's standards with his original compositions.
In my day, we called them 'previews of coming attractions.'
If you look at the top rated critics, it's 27%. I am seeing this through a SAG screening, but I know I'll hate it, as I hated Moulin Rouge. But it's a little like watching an accident happen and besides, it's free. Sad that some independent filmmaker couldn't get their hands on it, as I do think there might be a way to film it properly, but based on it's track record, it does seem as if it's unfilmable. I saw the 1949 version years ago, and though Alan Ladd is perfect casting, he's not too good, and Betty Field, a great actress who I thought never gave a bad performance, is terrible in it.
R71, I think R70 is referring to the rating I posted (5.5/10) which is separate from the critics percentage.
R74, Thanks for clarifying. You are correct.
Most Baz movie people either love it or hate it except his last film no one had strong feelings either way. The few reviews I have read don't care for GG but say good things about Leo...
[quote]The 1949 version is on Youtube. It's awful. No attempt to capture the period and Myrtle's car crash is hilarious. Are there any movies that Shelley Winters survives?
Thanks R57 for linking this. I had never seen this version but had read about it. Agree, it's pretty awful.. but the car crash is a hoot. The clothes don't look very 20's do they? And they certainly took liberties with the story.
Saw a screening of this tonight. Visually it's gorgeous but that's about the only good thing I can say - though I felt the 3D was distracting. I've never been a DiCaprio fan and he gives the same performance here that he always gives. If you're a fan of his furrowed brow method of acting you'll find plenty to enjoy here.
I'm not a fan of the novel either so I'm not surprised the movie didn't win me over. Ultimately, it's impossible to care about any of the characters and if the message is supposed to be about the futility of chasing after wealth and 'the good life' the story spends an awful lot of time and detail running down all the perks of living that way.
I keep finding myself looking for Roger Ebert's review to know if I want to watch something. I may not have always agreed with him but you got a feeling for the heart of a movie from him.
God I miss him.
[quote]The New Yorker: Luhrmann's vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he's less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste.
It's pretty much a vulgar blinged up, hip hop/ r'n'b video.
When I think of the character of Carraway, the image which pops into my head is certainly not of Tobey Maguire...
If the movie is as shit and low-brow as the OST, then fuck me sideways.
"and then watched a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show for classy sexuality."
VS is the last place where you'd go look for "classy sexuality".
I think it's time for Leo to take that break he's been talking about.
I'm not expecting much, but I will be seeing this tomorrow.
Will the web review in the NY Times be up today?
Me too R85. And sometime over the next few days, I'll watch the blu-ray Farrow/Redford version which has always been a favorite of mine.
"Moulin Rouge" was absolutely witless. I felt embarrassed watching it.
[quote]Music to THE GREAT GATSBY by Jay Z. That says it all.
Absolutely! Many reviewers have been making the same comment.
I think all this guy's movies are crap. Long with aesthetics that don't either fit or serve to make it less boring.
Yo yo Daisy, don't make me axe you again! You wanna see my closet full of Fubu or what?
Mostly mixed to negative reviews. However, the NY Times review was favorable.
Sam Waterston was perfect in the Robert Redford movie. He was the best thing about this movie.
I thought Lois Chiles was pretty close to what Jordan should have been too.
Does Leo look fatter in 3D?
Just came back from this debacle. One of the biggest disappointments I have ever had at a movie theater. Since it's one of my favorite books of all time and I loved the Redford version from the 70's, I was looking forward to this. Cartoonish, unnecessary 3D, rap music during the 20's and awful acting all wrapped up in 1 tidy shitbag. If I never see Toby McGuire's comatose face on a screen again, it will be too soon.
attention Fraus: For those who are insisting that Leo is straight, go see this movie. That's about the only story this movie really tells.
When BET starts having white rockstars on I'll be okay with Jay-Z, Bewigged, Kanye & the rest till then.....
It really was a bit of a mess, but I wasn't bored. Just really tired of Baz's recycled tricks. Seen it all before in Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge. R + J came out in 1996 and he hasn't grown one iota as a director or artist.
He throws the kitchen sink at the movie. Black and white shots, slow motion, skip motion, blasting modern music, dialog written across the screen. It tires out the viewer. He doesn't let the fucking thing breath and just tell the story. The music gave me a headache.
The performances were hit and miss. Tobey Maguire should never act again. I hate him and I hated him in this. Carey Mulligan was miscast. Absolutely not attractive enough for the role and I hated her line readings. Hated everything about her performance really And the constant close ups of her face did her no favors.
Leo was ok, sometimes awkward and adrift. The actress who played Jordan Baker really was great.
On the whole though, it was just too garish, too loud, too much style, not enough substance.
Toure hated it.
Party scenes and costumes were great. Music was okay. 3-D wears thin. Otherwise overworked and painfully slow. You'll be checking your email.
For ramped-up product, I like Ken Russell's "The Boyfriend" for a campier evocation of the 1920's.
[quote]attention Fraus: For those who are insisting that Leo is straight, go see this movie. That's about the only story this movie really tells.
Wow, is his gayness that noticeable?
And please don't tell me they were really playing rap music for a film based in the 20's? Oh, dear...
Does Hollywood have any original ideas anymore?
Geeezz. The Great Gatsby AGAIN?? Sequels upon sequels of moves ie Iron Man, Avengers...
Not a huge Tarantino fan, but at least he comes up with original ideas and writing.
Why the hell would white "rockers" show up on BET? I wouldn't expect to see JayZ and Kanye on the country music channels. I hated the 1974 version (Redford and Farrow was completely miscast) so I might like this better.
Hollywood deadline update for Saturday 3PM
There’s more good news at the box office for Summer 2013. Domestic grosses for Warner Bros‘ The Great Gatsby (3,035 theaters) just kept climbing upward Friday though audiences gave it a ‘B’ CinemaScore. My sources’ latest estimates for the 3D tentpole are $19M for Thursday late shows, Friday midnights, and its opening day total and a $53M first weekend. The ‘X’ factor will be Mother’s Day, which could contribute to a huger-than-normal Sunday for the romantic drama co-financed by Village Roadshow and based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 classic novel. The #1 film is still Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3.
I really enjoyed it. Loved the acting and the music (which didn't overpower the film and which was much more diverse than I thought it would be--Rhapsody in Blue was featured at least twice). I think this may be a film that critics enjoy piling on when it first comes out but that they will begin to appreciate over time.
The movie that The Great Gatsby most reminded me of was not the Redford-Farrow adaptation of Gatsby, not Moulin Rouge, but actually Citizen Kane. There's something fascinating about zillionaires and their big houses.
Agree R106 and I didn't expect to as I am a big fan of the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version. Yes, this was over the top and frantic. But I was never bored.
r101, interesting you mention Ken Russell as Baz has based his entire career on doing dumbass riffs on his work.
Well, I'll be! I really enjoyed it.
I knew what I was in for, that Lurmahn films give the feeling that you are sometimes trapped in an elevator with the whole circus.
Still, I liked it.
Thought it was a lot better than the critics said.
A good adaptation of the novel..
And, a question: Don't want to be a thin hat, but in the novel as well as in the movie, don't you have the impression that Nick Carraway is not only in awe but also in love with Gatsby.
He is the only person sincerely loving someone else in the story.
In the movie, when the mysterious Gatsby is finally revealed to Nick, there is fireworks and triumphant Gershwin music, and it is clearly Nick's point of view.
Mind you, Tobey "pretending" to be in awe in front of DiCaprio doesn't ask that much acting chops...
Agree R109 about Nick's attraction to Gatsby
r109, for more on the surprisingly strong homoerotic subtext of American literature by male authors see Leslie Fiedler's regrettably heteronormative but otherwise perceptive essay "Come Back to the Raft Agin, Huck Honey."
I loved it even though Mulligan miscast.
I agreea about the cartoon aspect.
Saw with my brother who is an expert on this novel..he even moved to St Paul b/c of Fitz. Knows every word by heart...the day after we saw new film we watched the 1974 version and liked that better except hr hates Redford as Gatsby.
I grew up on West Egg across from the water. One of my frinds family,who owned a steamship company. lived in a mansion that had rolling lawns down to the Long Island Sound. Her house was a 5 minute walk from my home. this house house was enormous..but was tatsefully designed ...so it was so hard to look at the grotesque mess that shey ad for both mansions.
BTW the distance between East and West Egg was about a third of the distance shown in the film maybe less...I lived there in the '60's.
That's interesting, R114
Thanks for sharing.
Finally saw Great Gatsby tonight - was bored fucking stiff. I'm not a datalounger who hates everything but thought this was glacier slow, overwrought and boring. Weird to me that someone above liked it despite Carey Mulligan - she was the only one who interested me onscreen (Edgerton was pretty good too but his character's such an a-hole you don't care to see more of him). Tobey Maguire is just a waste. His entire schtick is looking like a bewildered turtle. He's most of the movie but it's like looking at a black hole. DeCaprio has to be one of the most overrated actors out there; he acts like a 10th grade boy in his first high school play trying to play an important 50 year old character. Overall, I'd give it about a 3. Occasional interesting flashes but they never lasted long. Wanted to like it but just no.
R117 I saw it today too. Went in with an open mind. I liked it. Nothing wow about it though. For that kind of budget should have been better than OK. The casting was the weakest part.
I'd have gone with:
Christian Bale - Gatsby
James McAvoy - Nick
Cillian Murphy - Tom
Keira Knightley - Daisy
R118, wow, that cast list is awful. And I like all of those actors. I didn't really have any major objections to the cast, but if I had my fantasy cast it would be :
Henry Cavill - Gatsby
Aaron Taylor- Johnson - Nick
Chris Evans - Tom
Emily Browning - Daisy
I saw it today and enjoyed it very much, which surprised me because I didn't have the highest expectations. I thought the music was actually nearly pitch perfect in every scene and not used overly gratuitously.
I definitely picked up on some of the gay subtext of the Nick character, but I can see how that would fly over the head of a clueless straight viewer. I wish it was less subtle and more true to the text in that regard. I would be curious to know if Tobey made any conscious acting choices to convey that aspect at all?
I was engaged in the story throughout and the sheer spectacle of it all was really visually appealing, but yet it was not as overblown and frenetic as 'Moulin Rouge'. As far as adaptations go, it could have been far worse and as a movie it was a lot fun.
Thank God you're not in casting, r119. Aaron Taylor Johnson as Nick?
A better cast.
Daisy- Katherine Heigel
Nick - Zac Efron
Tom- Jeremy Renner
Music interludes featuring Darren Criss.
[quote]"Moulin Rouge" was absolutely witless. I felt embarrassed watching it.
"Witless" compared to what - Waiting for Godot? I can understand some hating Baz L's films but MR was not witless. This is a typical comment from someone who doesn't understand irony. MR and "strictly ballroom" both great and very funny, but if you don't get irony you will just say they're stupid.
I hated Australia. I'm going to see The Great Gatsby with an open mind. Have heard two really good reviews of the film over the few days. I know I will either love it or hate it. That's Baz for you.
I saw it last week and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Weak links were the American actors. As R117 so beautifully said, Maguire is a 'bewildered turtle' and too long in the tooth for the role. I can't stand DiCaprio because I can always see him acting and this role was no different. The Gatsby parties didn't seem like parties as much as pageants. They lacked decadence and danger. The contemporary music didn't bother me that much.
I really liked Edgerton, Mulligan and especially the woman who played Jordan. I wish she had more to do. Mulligan isn't a natural beauty but I thought she captured the essence of Daisy quite well. My favorite scene was the hotel room confontation.
After seeing DiCaprio in the swimsuit I know why he never takes his clothes off in movies. It looks like he's built like a young Montgomery Burns.
"MR and "strictly ballroom" both great and very funny, but if you don't get irony you will just say they're stupid"
Ironic? IMHO "Moulin Rogue" was anti-irony, about living your life fully and directly, without self-consciousness or irony. I mean, Ewan McGregor sings "THe Hills Are Alive" without a trace of irony, as if he was a big enough dork to think it's just a good song that fit the moment.
[quote]Aaron Taylor Johnson as Nick?
At first, I thought the movie was all sparkle and show and no substance. But I think by the end, the movie developed its characters and storyline in a pretty impressive manner. I think Leo was great in the movie, personifying the mysterious and opulent Gatsby in deed and spirit. I thought using modern music infused with a 20's sound was brilliant and worked well here. The movie is a visual delight.
Luhrmann's virtuosity should have been tempered. I liked his inventive use of sets and music but his signature manic flourishes would have had far more impact if they had been more judiciously and reflectively exercised.
The framing device is an obvious ploy that doesn't pay off.
But when he allows himself to, on his own terms but with narrative focus, tell the story, he scores big. The casting, warts and all, is quite successful. Sure we can object to whether Mulligan is glamorous enough (then again her being less an obvious golden girl made Gatsby's quixotic love for her more, rather than less, romantically driven and obsessed, much more based on his actually falling for her and it changing his dreams, rather than reflecting on some generic social climbing; and in this regard it is much more true to Fitzgerald and to Gatsby than to the way most people think of both), whether DiCaprio is believable as a 32 year old, whether Edgerton is perhaps too much of a hunk god and too little of a hulking husband, etc., but the fact is the cast these are damned good actors who have given a great deal of thought and feeling to the story and were adept at both inhabiting the crux of their roles and fitting Luhrmann's style, no small feat.
There are scenes that indelibly capture the novel's spirit and themes and are extremely well directed and hard to pull off. The Plaza Hotel guestroom scene was damn good.
And then there are so many moments when he just didn't know when to say when, when his tricks are tricks that neither make us live/feel within the story nor pull off a Brechtian gambit in order to force us to think about it. In those tricked out moments, I found myself more often thinking about Luhrmann's directorial calculations and miscalculations rather than about the jazz age, the American dream, Gatsby's optimism or sensitivity, Nick's disillusionment or Daisy's provisional complacence.
And yet there are moments, many of them (although few in the first hour, the movie gets far better as it goes on, although the misfires don't stop, they merely give way to the triumphs) when all of that is beautifully there, far more successfully than any other film version of Gatsby, much more so than anything that Clayton, Redford, Farrow and Waterston gave us.
On balance, a missed opportunity because what Luhrmann could have accomplished with this cast, with his prodigious creativity but with a steadier and far more selective hand, a more script structure, and with the depth of his frequently evident understanding of the story he is trying to tell (of the novel itself), could have been a great movie.
What we are left with, is heartbreakingly not a great film but rather a mix of a very fine one and an overblown fiasco.
Carey Mulligan is starting to annoy me. I'm getting tired of that same boring performance. It works in Brittish drama, but she just isn't flashy or gritty enough for these American roles. Shame was bad. Daisy was boring.
The confrontation scene was directed poorly I had no idea where to look or how to feel because the object of conversation (Daisy) was looking confused the entire time.
No one is still thinking about this movie but you....and now me, because you bumped this thread.
Just got done watching The Great Gatsby and it was a solid C. The woman who played Jordan Baker and the costumes were the best things about it. Everyone else phoned it in.