Upon a spontaneous invitation (my favorite kind), I ended up seeing The Great Gatsby in 3-D last night instead of tonight, and received the children’s price for being a poor teacher (the woman agreed there should be teacher discounts, bless her). Splendid!
I’d heard that critics were merciless in their reviews of their films but had only read one of several HuffPo ones; I beg to differ with most of the reviews that I suspect are out there (I only want to look at them after I scrawl all of this out).
I have been a Baz Lurhmann-faithful since watching The Red Curtain Trilogy (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge) though I have to admit, even I found Australia a tad disappointing. So I told myself to watch The Great Gatsby without high expectations and simply digest what I saw, rather than thinking of possible flaws critics might have found. Keep in mind that I’d read the actual novel eons ago way back in high school but I could still remember important bits and pieces.
I found the opening to be quite mesmerizing, and although I was concerned about Tobey Maguire’s performance he actually did quite well. The vibrant colors and noise that decorated the Gatsby mansion were so inviting (to me) and Leonardo DiCaprio was absolutely fantastic. Definitely nailed the role, and (as always) I sincerely hope that he finally wins an Oscar (how many films does the man need be in to win one, especially after having performed several distinct characters?). Carey Mulligan even stole my breath away, and when they were together, my heart ached for them (ah, the twinging).
The music. I understand how most people would possibly find it ill-fitting or bizarre to have in a ‘20’s era film, except for how this is a Baz Lurhmann film. He took Romeo + Juliet and modernized that, and he took more or less the same liberties with this film. I think it suited the film and even Lana Del Rey’s contribution could be so hauntingly beautiful (though Florence Welch was perfect).
I could continue on and on and be more in-depth but I don’t want to post too many spoilers (shame on you, you should’ve read the book, haha). But some of the shots that flowed between West Egg over the Ashlands (that’s what I called them, forgive me) and New York City itself provided such a stark, stunning constrast. And oh, the words that flowed upon the screen—just splendid, old sport. I definitely recommend this film!