An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Bryce Dallas Howard
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Long Island-set novel, where Midwesterner Nick Carraway is lured into the lavish world of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Soon enough, however, Carraway will see through the cracks of Gatsby's nouveau riche existence, where obsession, madness, and tragedy await. Written by
There are several references to Arrow Collars. Arrow brand detachable shirt collars were common menswear accessories in the early 1920s, and the Arrow Collar Man was featured in a very successful and popular ad campaign. See more »
The "French" phone shown as they talk about the intrusive unwanted guest calling Tom wasn't invented until about the mid-30's. In 1922, you still had to hold the candlestick phone in one hand and talk into the mouthpiece while holding and the earpiece up to your ear. See more »
Jay Gatsby's flower symbol is shown throughout the credits with different letters in place of the 'JG'. The 3rd to last flower, preceding the music section, has 'JZ' in it. The last flower has the movie's traditional 'JG' in it. See more »
Watching Gatsby, one gets the impression that Baz wanted to remake Moulin Rouge! In 3D and couldn't find a good way to retrofit it, so made a non-musical story on similar themes, using some of the exact same camera shots. However, the movie is not as gaudy or over-the-top as I fear/hoped it would be. But it does feature cartoonish elements that distract from the seriousness of the overall story.
The first point are the performances. Often, when modern actors try to imitate old fashioned acting styles, they fail miserably. Often this is the case with actresses doing mannered/expressive acting common in the 30s and 40s. However, the actresses in this movie do a better job than the actors. The only flaw is that some characters, especially Daisy (who really is a shallow and symbolic character) are presented with much greater depth than they were meant to possess. Meanwhile, Tobey Maguire gives a performance so mawkishly earnest and cornball, he's sometimes like something out of a Capra movie. Leo DiCaprio looks better than he has lately in a Redford-esque role, but his accent is all over the place (could it be that he's a self made invention or just can't master an accent? We don't know). His pronunciation of "Old Sport" is jarring. And while the movie keeps telling us he has charisma, he does not project enough of it. Joel Edgerton, as Tom, is giving a performance as a type of man seldom seen in modern movies and does his level best, but we are never quite sure what to make of him. He seems at turns goofy, villainous and sympathetic. The scenes of Tobey and Leo together highlight the sublimated homoerotic tension many people have discerned in the book. It's almost like they're picking up where they left off with their quasi romance in This Boy's Life.
Secondly, overwhelming all else is the camera-work and atmosphere. The 3D is occasionally distracting, but also brilliant in bringing out small details, like the exquisite sets and costuming and tiny elements like confetti or pearls. The photography can also overwhelm the Moulin Rouge! party scenes and make certain elements look cartoonish (when you see people hanging out of cars it's reminiscent of the weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). I would not have wanted to see this movie in 2D, or certainly not on the small screen, because of the visual treats I might miss. I'm not sure it would be a different movie entirely. The incorporation of modern music is not overly distracting, and done in a similar way to Marie Antoinette, with modern music simply played over a period scene with period dances. I wouldn't say that any particular song is moving or evocative enough to rise to the level of great uses of song in romantic films, but it's also not terribly distracting. The use of rap music does highlight gaudiness and false showy glamor, as opposed to stately tasteful wealth. And in a sense, Jay Gatsby does represent this factor, so it sort of works.
The adaptation of the book seems fairly reverent in every regard except what I have mentioned about modern music and crazy camera work.
It was hard to get a read off the preview audience, and I think this movie will be divisive. In the 70s, they did a big budget version of Great Gatsby, trying to make it the new Gone With the Wind, and it failed. Here, a 100+ million effort at combining Titanic and Moulin Rouge! could also be an Ishtar level disaster. On the other hand, I think when you get sucked into the world of the film, it really works. And as in Moulin Rouge!, repeated viewings might take some of the shock out of cartoony or jarring elements and bring out the human, small touches that really won me over.
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