Sunday, May 12, 2013
At the risk of sounding like an illiterate boob, I somehow managed to miss reading the novel. Yes, I did complete high school. I just somehow managed to avoid Fitzgerald completely. I think during those years, when I came to despise Hemingway, I lumped Fitzgerald in with him. Now that I'm a grown-up, I should probably re-think that.
Anyway, as you may be aware, the most well-known film adaptation was made in the 1970's and starred Robert Redford. The movie got a lot of flack at the time, but actually there has been some backpeddling since then. People now seem to give it a little more credit. Not really knowing the story, when I saw this version, I enjoyed it. Mia Farrow makes you want to stab your eye with a fork just a little bit, but I enjoyed Robert Redford. Cut to Baz Lurhmann and a LOT of flack, once again.
I have come to the conclusion that, when it comes to movie-making, no one is going to be able to please a majority of people where this book is concerned. There have been a lot of negative reviews. Maybe it is just one of those books that doesn't translate to film. However, there have also been some very positive reviews.
One thing that seems to be agreed upon by most is that Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job in the leading role. I'd very much agree with that. I found his characterization much more nuanced and complex than the Robert Redford version. I also really thought Tobey Maguire was great as Nick Carraway.
The big polarizer here is, of course, director Baz Luhrmann. Although this film is not a musical, it is very Moulin Rogue-y in spots. Whereas I truly love Moulin Rouge, some people find it garish and sappy and all kinds of unpleasant things. Bottomline: If you like Luhrmann, you'll probably enjoy The Great Gatsby.
I loved the Baz-touch. I think the film is stunning...another sparkling jewel. The 3D took a little getting used to, but once I adjusted, it was actually really cool. The Jay-Z music was apparently a real problem for some critics and viewers, but, honestly, they must be very sensitive. It was barely noticeable to me. And despite all the Baz-y goings-on, the very tragic story remained intact. And I do love the story.
I give this two big Roger Ebert thumbs-up. I'm definitely planning to see it one more time.