Saturday, May 11, 2013

Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby

A.O. Scott, from the New York Times, review,

" is an eminently enjoyable movie."

"I grant that this is not so easily done. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s slender, charming third novel has accumulated a heavier burden of cultural significance than it can easily bear. Short and accessible enough to be consumed in a sitting, the book has become, in the 88 years since its publication, a schoolroom staple and a pop-cultural totem. It shapes our increasingly fuzzy image of the jazz age and fuels endless term papers on the American dream and related topics."

"Mr. Luhrmann’s peculiar genius — also the thing that drives cultural purists of various stripes crazy — lies in his eager, calculating mix of refinement and vulgarity."

"To those of us watching in our modest multiplex seats, he is a movie star. In previous incarnations he was Robert Redford, Alan Ladd and Warner Baxter, and now Leonardo DiCaprio has slipped into the ice cream suit and the curious diction. “Old sport” may be the two hardest words for an American actor to say, but for Gatsby himself they were an affectation, so it is possible to overlook Mr. DiCaprio’s overdone accent. (I do wish he would try a performance without one, though.) More important, it is impossible to look away from him. His charisma has increased as his youthful prettiness has worn and thickened away, and he is beautiful, sad, confident and desperate in exactly the way Gatsby should be."

"Is the tale of Daisy and Gatsby a credible love story? Fitzgerald himself was not sure, but Mr. Luhrmann, Mr. DiCaprio and Ms. Mulligan make it an effective one. At a crucial, climactic moment — a scene in a suite at the Plaza Hotel — the director mutes his irrepressible, circus ringmaster showmanship and plunges into undiluted melodrama. The music stops, and the camera cuts among the assembled faces as the emotional core of the film is laid bare."

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