Written June 23, 2017
I loved "Gatsby." Leonardo DiCaprio was outstanding. Baz Luhrman's over-the-top 3-D visioning would've impressed and pleased Fitzgerald. (Watch for the director in one scene.) As a former English teacher who taught the novel to high school students, I was impressed with the faithfulness and reverence to the text. Its prose ranks among the finest ever written. Even Bill Gates has a line from the novel engraved around the rotunda of his library overlooking Lake Washington: "He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close...." If this movie brings the novel to the attention of a new generation of readers, it will have accomplished a great deal. The green light continues to beckon us if we believe all the potential of this land is still possible: "...for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation ..., commensurate with his capacity for wonder." Go and savor it.
Written December 10, 2016
This was my most anticipated movie of the year. After seeing the critics' ratings for this movie, I became disheartened. I'm happy to say that The Great Gatsby lived up to my initial expectations!
This movie is AMAZINGLY beautiful. The sets, costumes, and cinematography are all vivid and creative. You can really tell Baz Luhrmann had a vision. He brings the roaring 20's to life and does so flawlessly. The movie feels old-fashioned and modern at the same time.
Gastby is 99% faithful to the book. Though not his best, DiCaprio gives a great performance. Though Maguire gives his best performance of his career, his acting is still limited to derpy smiles and dazed looks.
This is the best Gatsby movie to date. Other than the modern hip hop music and Maguire's limited range, this movie is a perfect rendition of a great American novel!
There are no scenes during or after the credits
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Written June 24, 2017
"Excess" is the word that best sums up what is wrong with this Gatsby.
I love Baz Luhrman's visual & aesthetic sense (I've seen Moulin Rouge many times), but in Gatsby, his unrelenting use of jump cuts, whirling dervish camera work, cacophonous audio layering, & gratuitous special effects at first dazzle, then annoy, and finally anesthetize.
After 80 minutes, numb of sight, hearing, & thought, I could no longer care about the characters or their story, and in my 45 years of loving movies, I did something I've done only 7 times before, I walked out.
Not that this Great Gatsby isn't a film with merit. I just couldn't handle being "yelled" at anymore.
Written September 29, 2016
I always loved the Great Gatsby, and worried that the movie would divert in meaningful ways from the source material. It did not. The movie's plot remained faithful to Fitzgerald's own and captured the spirit of the Jazz Age and the wistfulness and tragedy of the lead characters. Leonardo DiCaprio was perfectly cast as Jay Gatsby. He made me believe he was the mysterious millionaire whose origins and motives are the cause of so much speculation. He brought an old Hollywood glamour to the role, and perfectly captured Gatsby's hope and belief that reinventing himself would enable him to recreate the past and realize his greatest dream.Toby Maguire was excellent as Nick Carraway, and his developing friendship with Gatsby seemed natural and genuine .
My only complaint is the soundtrack. Some of the musical choices just did not work for me. The inclusion of hip hop was jarring and pulled me out of the scene. Luckily this was mostly confined to the early part of the movie.
Written June 29, 2016
I enjoyed the movie - the music, 3D cinematography, the acting and especially the true to the era costumes. It was a different take on previous versions of the movie. However, I do think the movie was unneccesarily long. I would get this movie for home viewing. I went with my 15 year old son who generally enjoys action movies but can appreciate a drama because he is into acting but during a cruicial part of the movie he fell asleep for a few minutes and was lost after that. Overall we enjoyed the movie too.