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The (2013 version of) The Great Gatsby...

~Saturday~  A couple of months ago, I read The Great Gatsby for the first time ever, and then made it our Mostly Social Book Club selection, since it was my turn to select a book.

Since then, I have been waiting for the the newly-released version of the movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, to come to the $2.00 movie, and it finally did.


Synopsis: New York,1929. Bond-seller Nick Carraway, in a sanitarium for depression and alcoholism, is persuaded by his doctor to write a therapeutic account of what put him there. Nick's journal describes how,seven years earlier, he had moved to a tiny house on Long Island adjoining the sumptuous mansion owned by enigmatic neighbour, the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby.

After attending one of Gatsby's legendary parties Nick is asked by Gatsby to arrange a meeting with his (Nick's) cousin, Daisy, now married to the brutish and philandering Tom Buchanan, who was Gatsby's true love, prior to war service. As Nick complies, he comes to see that Gatsby, once a poor boy, has recreated himself as a fascinating millionaire purely to win Daisy back.



I went to the 3:15 showing of it, lining my pockets with some red (strawberry, I don't like the cherry) flavored Twizzlers licorice and some "Aussie Style" black licorice pieces.

My thoughts and observations about the movie:

  • It was totally worth the $2.00 price of admission.

  • I thought I knew two of the actors, but it turned out Leonardo was the only one I knew. The entire time, I thought the actress playing Daisy was Renee Zellwegger, but in Googling it afterward, I found out I was wrong.

  • In Googling the person actually playing Daisy, as well as the one playing Morgan, I found it interesting that, at least in the IMDB pictures, Carey Mulligan, who played Daisy was a brunnete, but played a blond in the movie, and Elizabeth Debicki, who played Jordan was a blond, but played a brunette in the movie. To further confound that, my friend Mary pointed out that in the book, Daisy was a brunette.

  • In the category of the movie being different from the book, the most blatant thing to me was that the—albeit subtle—romantic relationship that evolved between Nick and Jordan in the book, was non-existent in the movie.

  • I understand that this movie was directed by the same director who did Moulin Rouge, which I was not a fan of, and I recognized some of the camera techniques from said movie—with the broad, sweeping panning in and out movements in some scenes, which didn't bother me as much in this film as they did in Moulin Rouge for some reason.

  • I have never seen the 1974 version of this film, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and now that I've seen this version, I'd be interested in seeing that one.

  • I found the substitution of modern music for music "of the time" in some scenes a little distracting.

  • I also found a couple of the "car-driving scenes" a little too long, and unrealistic, and remember thinking, "These are like the obligatory 'chase scenes' in movies 'these days' that presumably audiences love." It reminded me of an article about the formulaic aspect of, especially summer, movies, that I read recently. There were a couple of these scenes in this movie, during one of which I remember specifically looking down, away from the screen, to ignore. They were driving so erratically that in real life they definitely would have been killed, but you knew in the movie, when it was all said and done, nothing was going to happen.

  • This may be a spoiler, so if you've never read the book, and plan to see the movie, you might want to skip this comment: The thing I most appreciated about this movie is that it didn't bastardize the ending of the book, turning it into a Hollywood ending. I absolutely love when people die at the end of movies, and a murder-suicide is the ultimate ending.

With all that said, I don't know if it seems like I didn't like this movie, but I actually enjoyed it very much, and thought the $2.00 monetary investment, as well as the close to 2.5-hour investment in time, were both worth it. :-)

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
dan4behr
Jul. 22nd, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
I might like to see this on Netflix. I hated Moulin Rouge and that was one of the reason I shied away from this adaptation.

I remember the 1974 version quite well. I've seen bits and pieces of it on TV since then, I think. The "Springfield" (US-made) Rolls Royce was a prominently featured in that film - I liked that a lot...
dan4behr
Jul. 22nd, 2013 02:48 pm (UTC)
Useless trivia from the Rolls Royce website:

"In 1919, the company incorporated as Rolls-Royce of America and acquired its first US manufacturing plant in Springfield, Massachusetts. Production began the following year. Rolls-Royce of America Inc. manufactured nearly 3000 Silver Ghosts and Phantoms before succumbing to the Depression. To this day, Springfield is the only place outside England that Rolls-Royce cars have ever been built."
(Anonymous)
Aug. 1st, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
Style v Substance
I actually liked the soundtrack and thought it might have been the smartest thing Luhrmann did, but had other issues related to his interpretation of the characters. For example, I thought the scene of the betrayal of the garage owner by Daisy's husband (ohwhatshisname) was downplayed. That's a key to the characters of Daisy and her ilk. I also thought DiCaprio was too, well, expressive. The coolness and disassociation is missing. Gatsby is supposed to be an enigma and I thought DiCaprio was too 'readable'.

I didn't hate the new movie, but then I paid more than $2 to see it here! LOL

Such a wonderful and timeless book. I think the repeated versions on film demonstrate that. It's one of our best. It does warm the cockles of my heart that Gatsby remains a topseller in the US to this day (doesn't show up on the NYT bestseller list since it's a backlisted book, but it still counts :-) )

Ann
dailyafirmation
Aug. 2nd, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: Style v Substance
Thanks for sharing your perspective on this! It always puts a big ol' smile on my face to "read" from you!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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