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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Cindy Prascik’s Review of The Great Gatsby

Dearest Blog, with an extra-busy weekend ahead, yesterday I spent the afternoon with The Great Gatsby.
A smalltime New York stockbroker is drawn into his mysterious neighbor's bigtime life.

Not sure how I could spoil a story that's almost 90 years old but, for argument's sake, we'll say spoiler level here is mild, nothing you wouldn't have gotten from the trailers.

Dear Blog, we all know too-high hopes often lead to disappointment. Since I burned vacation time to see this opening day, it goes without saying my expectations were ridiculous, but I'm pleased to report the movie met all of them.
Starting with the obvious, Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby looks magnificent. I elected to pass on the 3D, and it was still as amazing as anything I've ever seen, so much so that I'll be seeing it again in 3D as soon as I can. The costumes, sets, and makeup are effectively another character in the film, setting each scene's mood and even its tempo. The quirky soundtrack suits the movie perfectly.

Leonardo DiCaprio is an actor I'll see in anything. Even if the project doesn't appeal to me, I know he'll be good enough to make it worthwhile. His Gatsby is alternately infuriating and heartbreaking, another stellar turn in an amazing career. Carey Mulligan does a fine job in the female lead, difficult for me to admit since I despise her. I generally have no feelings on Tobey Maguire either way, but his is the one role I wished had been filled by someone else. Curiously, his Spidey replacement Andrew Garfield kept coming to mind as a better fit. Gatsby reunites Zero Dark Thirty's Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke in two quite unsympathetic roles. My favorite performance in the film is from newcomer Elizabeth Debicki. She doesn't have as much to do as some others, but every second of her screen time had my full attention.

Gatsby exceeds two hours by a fair bit, but it never felt long to me; I enjoyed every minute. If I ever knew what caused its release to be moved from December to May, I've forgotten, but after seeing the film it seems wrong. Gatsby is definitely more Awards Season fare than Summer Blockbuster.

The Great Gatsby runs 143 minutes and is rated PG13 for "some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying, and brief language." (Does the MPAA seriously use "party" as a verb...and have a warning for it??) It is a beautiful, spectacular movie-going experience, and I can't wait to see it again.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, The Great Gatsby gets eight.

Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be building a mansion across the bay from where Gary Oldman lives with his wife.

Until next time...

Guys, guys, guyzzzzzzz...I think I'm in love (again)! ;-)

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