2 hrs 23 min
Staff Writer: Alison Nitsche
Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby is known and praised as being an American classic, and although I liked both the book and newest film adaptation, neither are extraordinary.
I love drama and romance (and Leo; what girl doesn’t!?), but the combination of modern music and special effects with the flapper, prohibition era did not really mesh all that well. Going into the movie I knew what to expect from director Baz Luhrmann (who also created Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet), but I would have preferred to remain completely immersed within the 20’s. I was taken out of Gatsby’s world with all the contemporary allusions; however, I can appreciate the creativity of these stylistic choices.
The place where The Great Gatsby shined the most actually lies within the unique and weird environment Luhrmann created. The costumes, sets, and overall cinematography were all stunning. Everything was beautifully shot; even the grungy valley of ashes was appealing in its own dark way. The acting within the film was amazing as well. Leonardo DiCaprio played a great Gatsby (pun intended); being a sophisticated, love struck, smooth-talker who meets an untimely end is nothing new for the seasoned Leo. Tobey Maguire’s real-life bro-mance with Leo made the onscreen relationship between Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby feel genuine. But, unfortunately, Tobey’s acting was just so-so compared to all the other actors. But to be fair that might be due to the fact that every other character in Fitzgerald’s novel has very audacious demeanors in comparison to Carraway.
The film very accurately follows F. Scott’s written words and really does bring his story to life. But, the movie is a bit slow, as is the book. Overall, The Great Gatsby was enjoyable to view, but was not spectacular. But, I still predict that this movie will be very popular, just like the novel that inspired it.
out of 10