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
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.