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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Genders: Drama, Romance

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

Year: 2013
Run time: 2h 23min
IMDB score: 7.3
Updated: 2 months ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Great Gatsby

Genders: Drama, Romance

Imdb Score: 7.3

Runtime: 2h 23min

Released: 10 May 2013

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire

Box Office: $144.8M

Company: Warner Bros. Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Trailer


Review

"The Great Gatsby" Review

9/10 Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," is fairly accurate to the classic novel and keeps most of its themes intact. However, Luhrmann's own flair adds a new dimension to the story. Visually this film is incredibly stunning. From grand sets to the detailed period dresses, this film is a treat for the eyes. Never once does it not take your breath away from its impressive scenery. Many people might be worried about the updated music, but there is nothing to fear. Jay-Z's track works incredible well with the film and complements the era in which it is set.

The direction in this film is impeccable. The cinematography is marvelous and really lets the viewer absorb the sheer artistry that has gone into making this film. Luhrmann keeps a high level of energy throughout the film and the party sequences are choreographed and edited in a way that it makes you feel envious of not being apart of it. Editing in the film is seamless and really keeps the viewer engaged. A common criticism the film receives is that it is more style than substance, however, I must disagree. This modern interpretation doesn't forget its themes and morals from the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale.

Performances are phenomenal by the entire cast. Carey Mulligan's Daisy is every bit as careless as one would expect, but she also manages to show some complexity in her role. Tobey Maguire is a great avatar for us to take on as we enter this film. He is very much the viewer as he sees everything happening, but is ultimately helpless to change anything. The true standouts in the film are Joel Edgerton and Leonardo DiCaprio. Edgerton as Tom Buchanan brings a lot of personality to his character that I thought was absent in the book. He's a bit more tender and more vulnerable, especially when he finds out his wife's secret. The true award recognition worthy performance comes from DiCaprio's Gatsby. He hones on being a respectable, but idealistically insane man. His performance is not only compelling, but also charming and quit hopeful. He truly deserves some recognition come Oscar season.

Overall, "The Great Gatsby" is a fantastically entertaining and enthralling film. It is horribly underrated as it is filled with awards worthy visuals, sets, costumes, direction, and performances. It is a great time at the movies for anyone that enjoys the classic novel or who haven't even heard of it. Not only is this film dramatically satisfying, but also quite humorous and a spectacle like no other. I give it 4.5/5, a great adaptation of one of the greatest novels ever written.

one year ago

Nothing exceeds like excess

9/10 THE GREAT GATSBY There is no movie I have been more prepared to dislike than this one. How dare some Aussie come over here and tell us about the meaning of one of the great works of American literature. Especially this Aussie, Baz Luhrmann, who is known to overload, over-hype and overcook his theatrical product into a glittery miasma of small meaning and little consequence. (i.e. Moulin Rouge)

But I was wrong.

Jay Gatsby has achieved success in a fashion beyond most imaginations, excepting his own. In true Horatio Alger tradition he has worked hard to improve himself, but when his past creeps up on him and threatens his well crafted self image, he suavely and effortlessly changes it, his past, and he inhabits the change until it becomes the reality. He is the self made American man in every way. He is the American success myth both personified and perverted.

Unlike Alger's heroes, he has not followed the straight and narrow. He has acquired his fabulous wealth through bootlegging and stock swindles.

This belief, that he can change his past, to correct it as it were, has given him a veneer of respectability that has put him in good stead with his underworld connections. But it is not for them that Gatsby has made this remarkable metamorphosis. No, he did everything, and I mean everything, for the love of a woman.

Daisy was Gatsby's great love, but he lost her, and now in one final herculean effort he is going to correct his past this one last time. He is going to win her back and make things as they should have been.

Leo DeCaprio is the only actor of this generation that could play Gatsby, just as Robert Redford could only play Gatsby the previous generation. Redford's Gatsby seemed reticent and insecure about his past; regretful that he must live a lie in order to accomplish his goal. DeCaprio's Gatsby is forceful, decisive; he is a determined man of significant accomplishment and great ability. He has a plan and he is going to execute it and as far as he is concerned, for all the right reasons. For myself, it is DeCaprio's best and most powerful performance.

This decision (both DeCaprio's and Luhrmann's) to take Gatsby down from some ethereal literary icon into a flesh and blood human being gives the movie an intensity that the 1974 version and most of the literary criticism of the book that I have ever read, never perceived. This is not a shining white knight rescuing a damsel in distress; this is a bare knuckles brawl for the hand of Daisy, and she is going to have to choose.

Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) is Gatsby's antagonist. He and Daisy were married when Daisy could no longer wait for Gatsby to prove himself worthy of her. Tom is as rich, maybe even richer than Gatsby, but his money is old, he is an aristocrat with a deep sense of entitlement. He has status and wealth because he's supposed to have status and wealth, and he's not about to give up all that, and certainly not his wife, to this new money usurper Gatsby, without a fight.

Bruce Dern played Tom as a kind of loopy (Dern's specialty) racial conspiracy nut, but Edgerton gives Tom a much harder edge. When Tom espouses his vile racial philosophies one might think that someday he might actually do something about it.

Daisy (Carey Mulligan) is a tough role. For all the time that Gatsby spends trying to prove he is good enough for Daisy, the audience, for the book or the film, is led down the path that she is not good enough for him. Mia Farrow played Daisy as an airhead and a dingbat, but Mulligan gives Daisy a bit more spine, and fashions a character that has a pretty good idea where her self-interests lay.

Luhrmann and co-writer Craig Pearse stay pretty close to the text with a few additions and devices, most notably, to those of us who read the book, know that it is Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) who tells the story, and is a firsthand witness to all the events, but we never knew from where he tells the story. Luhrmann tells us it is from a sanitarium where Nick is drying out from excessive alcoholism.

As for Luhrmann's reputation for excess: Well, he certainly visualizes Gatsby's parties as excess, but they are supposed to be excessive, excessive materialism is part of the point of the story. There are times when Luhrmann can't resist himself and feels the compulsion to punctuate matters with some visual flourish, but I did not find it too distracting. His decision to go 3D however, I think was wise. The characters seem to come out of the screen and get next to you. You get to know them personally, and after all this is a very personal story.

I think this story has survived the test of time so well because it is basically a love story. Whatever the viewers or readers opinion of the characters are, Gatsby and Daisy do love each other, but Fitzgerald was not interested in boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl and they all live happily ever after. Where Fitzgerald reached his own aspiration of creating high art is in wondering if living happily ever after is even possible in an age of class consciousness, even class warfare, that is driven by a compulsive materialism in a world changing so fast that we can't even formulate the question before we have to come up with an answer. Luhrmann stays true to these themes and displays an avid curiosity about them himself.

What he has created is a work of art that stands very well on its own.

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one year ago

An intriguing story re-told again with attention to mystery. 8/10

8/10 8/10.

I know a lot of the other reviewers will compare this film to the older one and also the book, so if you're interested in a comparison, stop reading here. I want to review this film as a movie that tells a story, like every other film. I don't want to review this as a film that tried to beat its preceding film adaptation.

I myself have read the book and have always been so intrigued with the character of Gatsby, and when I heard a few years back that he would be portrayed on the big screen by DiCaprio, I couldn't wait. The character carries such a mystery about him that was delivered so excellently by Leonardo DiCaprio, and made it so fun to watch. It was almost like I didn't know what the ending was because I was so immersed in 1920s New York, and in the lifestyle of The Great Gatsby.

The film itself, as a film, was awesome! The visuals and soundtrack were captivating and lavish. The acting was great overall, as you can trust these actors to deliver.

I read somewhere on IMDb (message board or another reviewer, I can't remember) that Leonardo wasn't a good fit for the role of Gatsby. I think this statement couldn't be more wrong. If you have read the book, you must have some idea about the depth of Gatsby's character, the depth of his mind, his desires. The false smiles, the phony handshakes, the uneasiness in being in public, the way Jay Gatsby conducts himself in front of Daisy, and in pursuit of her. All these things are delivered so well by DiCaprio. His nerve, his frustration, his determination...all so eloquently portrayed. But most of all, his passion, and as Nick Carraway, our narrator so emphatically reminds us, his hope. The character development of Jay Gatsby, and the development of all those surrounding him gives us such a deep look at the relationships of such a diverse category of people.

The storyline is obviously interesting: A man realizes his new neighbor is a mysterious, and incredibly wealthy man. Like how awesome is that? Throughout the whole film, as the relationships between all the few main characters become deeper and deeper, and the questions become answered, you just can't help but feel so into the characters' lives. Great writing for the characters, great directing, great great great acting.

Overall, this is just a great film. If you go into the theater thinking "oh this'll suck compared to Robert Redford" or "I bet the book is way better", you're setting yourself up for a bad 143 minutes. Don't be so close minded and try to view it as just another film that tells a fictional story, and a great one at that.

one year ago

Stop being pretentious and enjoy a decent film.

10/10 After seeing this film I was more than a little disgusted to see so many negative reviews. The main problem with this film I find is in the first 20-30 minutes, a common problem I spy in Luhrman films that should by no means define an entire film. Giving away nothing the film begins at a brisk and overly flamboyant pace but after a bit it hits what I like to call "Baz's golden point", slows to absolute perfection. That first half hour will leave more than a few shaking their heads, but power through it and you will find The Great Gatsby in all its glory. Luhrman stays as true to the source as he can and Dicaprio gives yet another glorious performance. If I'm going to be honest I think a lot of the negative reviews coming in are due to the "classic" status of the book, people want to act like the hours of school discussions should make this film less fanciful and serious 100 percent of the time. Thing is we have that version twice over in the 1974 & 2000 adaption. Gatsby 2013 is beautiful, over the top, heart wrenching, and thoroughly enjoyable flick that I shall always highly recommend.

one year ago

Visually and emotionally lush with a great cast

9/10 Baz Luhrmann really has outdone himself in this film. The cast is beautiful as is the script. The scenes are a visual feast. It is as if Luhrmann reached into Fitzgerald's vision of the 20's, pulled out the heart of it and merged it with what society is today, over nine decades later. Alongside personal strife, we see social inequality, abuse of drugs and alcohol, political and moral corruption, and the failure of financial institutions and their responsibility to people. This film will make you feel that these issues will always be relevant, and that not much changes from generation to generation.

The achingly romantic and hopeful Gatsby is played impeccably by DiCaprio. He has aged into a beautiful man while still possessing those boyish good looks. The beginning of the film has the viewer itching to see Gatsby and hear him speak, and when he finally appears he holds on and captivates throughout the film. The film may awaken something in you, a memory of when you were crazy in love with a person or in love with an idea for what your life should be. DiCaprio embodies a dream and makes you root for him, even though he is shown to be a liar and a man who is desperately trying to steal another's wife- all that does not matter because we see the gentle child-like frailty in him and identify with it. DiCaprio is an excellent actor and was perfect for the role.

I must say that I didn't think that Mulligan can pull the role of Daisy, who in my mind was supposed to be a flawless beauty. However, she didn't disappoint. It made Gatsby's love and desire for her even more fascinating- she was beautiful to him and that's all that mattered. Mulligan was able to play the spoiled and dazed rich girl well, while adding an emotional dimension to the character. Tobey Mcguire definitely held his own, and his story line had an interesting deviation from the novel which was enjoyable. All in all I think it is a must see this year for movie buffs.

one year ago