Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gatsby Guest Post

Well, I watched The Great Gatsby again and again over the holiday weekend and love it even more! Especially the sound track! However, I also know I am completely sentimental about the book and love the character of Gatsby (it will be the name of my next dog). So, I thought I'd bring you a guest post from a movie critic friend of mine, Joe. He knows sooooo much about movies aside from the storyline, which is all I care about! So here is his take on the newest rendition of The Great Gatsby:

    The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is in a sanitarium for alcoholism, and tells his doctor the story of a great man he met in the past - a man named Gatsby.

Encouraged to write his story, Nick begins the tale in 1922, when he moves to New York from the midwest to work as a bond salesman.  His house is situated near a mansion owned by the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a man who throws lavish parties yet remains elusive.  Nick doesn't feel like he fits in with the high society crowd, since he himself is rather penniless.  He reunites with his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her husband Tom (Joel Edgerton), who is a very well-known and wealthy socialite.

Tom takes Nick to the slums of New York, where he confesses his several infidelities, and treats Nick to a party thrown by one of Tom's mistresses, Myrtle (Isla Fisher).  Nick gets a taste of the high life, and it intoxicates him.  Returning home, he receives a surprise invitation to a party thrown by Gatsby.

Nick attends the party and finds that he's the only one who received an actual invitation, and is the first to meet the mysterious Gatsby.  The two become friends and Gatsby asks Nick to bring Daisy to him.  In the past, Gatsby and Daisy were a couple, but then Gatsby went off to war, and disappeared for five years.  His hopes of reconciling with Daisy seems to be fulfilled as the two begin an affair.

Tom finds out and uses information he uses against Gatsby, which leads to death, despair and a realization to Nick that being rich isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"The Great Gatsby" is a classic novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and this is one of several films based off that novel.  Director Baz Luhrmann seems to have taken the source material and hidden it in the background of simply dazzling cinematography, awe-inspiring costume designs and a fantastic soundtrack done by Jay-Z.  All three of those technical aspects should earn the film some Oscar nominations, but I'm sure it won't receive any for the big six - Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress.  While the picture is visually stunning, it drowns out the heart of the story, as you're more impressed with how the film was shot rather than the story itself.  The acting was decent, but I expected more from such talented actors, especially from DiCaprio and Mulligan - two Oscar-nominated actors.  If you took out the visual aspects, you'd have nothing more than some college-rate production of a classic novel.

My Rating: B+

Gatsby salutes you Old Sport....err...Joe.

Click here to view the post on Joe's blog (and see what other good stuff he's got going on there).