17 May 2013

The Great Gatsby: I Love It And So Will You

I don’t care what else you’ve read about Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby – it’s glorious. It’s so visually spectacular and engrossing that the two and a half hour running time feels like it's nothing at all. Unlike the months and months and months that I've been waiting for this movie - but hand on heart, it did not disappoint.

Carey Mulligan’s Daisy is vulnerable and enchanting - and Carey makes the leap here from cute to full-on beauty. Tobey Maguire's Nick is the most relatable character of all;  the whole story is seen through his eyes, as he looks back from the other side of that summer.  

But Leonardo steals the show. He is insanely brilliant in this film – and I wouldn’t have classed myself as a fan. But between this and Django Unchained, it’s clear he’s in his acting prime.

The Great Gatsby 2013 review

I was about 13 when I saw the Robert Redford version, and it left me deeply confused and conflicted. This interpretation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic is much more clearcut. Some might say it lacks subtlety – I say it's less hazy, and more defined. It’s a love story, and it’s exciting and beautiful and tragic in equal parts.

It's not the same as the book, of course, because the book relies on Fitzgerald's nuanced prose. But I don't see why you can't love both.

This version is as glorious and excessive and riotously intense as I imagine the Jazz Age might have been – if you were exceptionally wealthy, or perhaps one of Fitzgerald’s and Hemingway’s hard-drinking literary crew. I had goose pimples throughout, and I sobbed like a baby for the last half hour.

The Great Gatsby 2013 review

Jay-Z's soundtrack is inspired, the 3D flourishes are gorgeous and the fashion…oh, the fashion. It’s divine. It’s perfection. It's Prada and Brooks Brothers. It’s something you really have to go and see, and the bigger the screen, the better.

It was never going to be easy to remake a classic, but I think Luhrmann absolutely did it justice. It felt…epic. I think Fitzgerald would approve – and I’d love to know if you agree.
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