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Saturday, May 11, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: THE GREAT GATSBY




An aspiring writer falls under the spell of an aloof millionaire with designs for the young scribe's unhappily married cousin in director Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's celebrated novel. It's the spring of 1922, and wide-eyed Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) has just moved to New York City in pursuit of the American Dream. Settling into a home next door to wealthy Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Carraway grows increasingly fascinated by the elaborate parties held at his new neighbor's estate. Meanwhile, across the bay, Carraway's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) flounders in her marriage to philandering aristocrat Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Inspired by the debauchery on display at Gatsby's wild parties and the lives of the wealthy elite, Carraway begins putting pen to paper as it gradually becomes clear that his cousin and the millionaire share a complicated romantic past that remains unresolved. Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, and Elizabeth Debicki co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton

Release Date: May 10, 2013

Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language

Runtime: 2 hr. 22 min.

Genres: Drama, Romance

Review:

Let me start off by saying that I personally love Baz Luhrmann’s style. I’ve been a fan since I first saw his take on Romeo and Juliet. Moulin Rouge was one of the best movie going experiences I’ve ever had, turning me into a fan of movie musicals along the way. I’ll even admit that I enjoyed Australia which was an over long bloated mess of a movie but there was enough there for me to like that I had no problem trudging through its 3 movies in one self. Needless, to say I’m an easy mark for his latest adaptation and slightly biased. My expectation were set fairly high and while the movies runtime worried me, especially after sitting through an overlong Iron Man 3 last weekend. When it was all said and done I wasn’t disappointed. I watched the film in 3d, of the few shot in nascent 3D, and it thoroughly impressed me in its immersion especially in the frenetic first half where you feel like streamers and confetti fall around for the better part of the hour. Once we head into the more somber 2nd half of the film Baz pulls back, as required by the plot, and it’s equally engaging. The 4 primary cast members all deliver excellent performances throughout. Leonardo DiCaprio is mysterious and mostly restrained; he does a good job of capturing Gatsby psyche on film. Tobey Maguire, who’s usually bland for me, was rather impressive as the doe eye naïve narrator who slowly becomes more and more cynical as the film progresses. Carey Mulligan isn’t asked to do much but she does display a broken sadness appropriate for her character throughout. Joel Edgerton is just as impressive as DiCaprio and Maguire as the brutish Buchanan, his performance is actually quite eye catching. Equally eye catching is seeing Baz Luhrmann’s last 3 films come together to form this film. There are bits and pieces that taken from each but combined to deliver one of his most complete and compelling films.

A

16 comments:

  1. I love Baz Luhrmann's style as well, but The Great Gatsby isn't his best work. The visuals stood out and that's about it. The characters are two-dimensional. Yes, I was moved and transported to the Roaring Twenties while I watched this. This film is overlong and repetitive. The repetition of "old sport" and Gatsby being obsessed with repeating the past got on my nerves.

    This isn't a GREAT film. It's a good film. I enjoyed it, but it's nothing special.

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    1. Moulin Rouge which is terribly flawed film is still my favorite film, for some reason this one really captivated me though.

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  2. This review was more positive than expected - although I am glad as you were a lot more excited for the film that I am!!

    Glad to hear that the 3D is worth it as we don't really get a choice anymore which I hate. Baz's films are usually gorgeous so I am glad this one follows that trend.

    Carey Mulligan has broken sadness down to a fine art now. I know she has a like/loath vibe about her I am very much in the like camp

    We get this next week and my interest has been woken up!

    K :-)

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    1. I'm an easy mark K with Baz but I loved it and the wife loved it as well. The 3D was amazing especially in the first half of the film. Mulligan was pretty impressive like the rest of the cast. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts.

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    2. Watched it and I am afraid I had no love for it.

      The performances (for the most part) and the costumes and set design were all flawless but I just couldn't warm to it. It felt like empty drama which is a shame

      Tobey Maguire was god awful. Truly terrible!

      K :-)

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    3. Think it's just Baz, he has that love it or hate it effect on people.

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  3. After reading your and Rath's review of the movie I am interested in seeing it now. Unlike many, I have not read the book yet.

    -James

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    1. The wife hasn't either and she was dying to afterward James.

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  4. hmmm i am actually not a fan of Baz. so i may not like this one either. also, i LOVE Tobey Maguire. i think he's an underrated actor

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    1. I'll say that if you aren't a fan of Baz this probably won't be the film that changes your mind as it's very Baz.

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  5. Such a good review. So many good points for such a fun movie.

    Sorry it took me so long to comment. I commented yesterday using my phone which apparently didnt work.

    Either way, easily one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

    Again, great review!

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    1. Thanks Jordan, I appreciate you reading. I agree, I enjoyed this film so much, glad I wasn't the only one!

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  6. I liked the review and enjoyed the film. There were more positives then negatives and the visual effects were superb. Performances were spot on. Here`s my review My review of 'The Great Gatsby' http://aajani.blogspot.ca/2013/05/movie-review-great-gatsby_18.html Please feel free to comment and send feedback

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    1. Thanks for reading, I agree I found a lot to enjoy here. Great I'll read your review and follow your blog!

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  7. Aside from the fact the "old sport" expression is definitely overused, I agree with almost everything you said in your review. It was a visually stunning and breathtaking movie.

    I recognized that the older ones in the audience had a problem with the modern music and the "overlength", while the younger ones didn't like the second half because there wasn't any "fun".

    I enjoyed the whole thing. Believe it or not: I had no idea about the Gatsby plot. I heard about F. Scott's novel and I also heard about the adaptation with Redford, but that's it. When I first saw the trailer, I wasn't impressed, and apart from Moulin Rouge, I'm not exactly a Luhrmann fan, but there was something about it that intrigued me, and so I decided to check it out.

    and I ended up highly impressed! I love Leo and Mulligan and the both deliver terrific performances, but I was more surprised by Maguire who gave a really fascinating performance. The first half is intense and the music is spectacular, but the second half is even more awesome due to some incredibly emotional and highly depressing moments.

    9/10

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    1. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it as much as I did! I was just mesmerized by the film from start to finish.

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