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The Great Gatsby (2013)
The great, slightly changed, Gatsby !!
I believed in this movie from the very first moment I saw the trailer and was, therefore, very surprised to see all the negative reviews it received upon its release. Today that I have seen it, I believe that all the points people have been criticizing all this time, are actually the strong points of the movie.
It is obvious that it is a super- production with much emphasis on the audiovisual extravaganza and many externalities. But that is not a bad thing. The movie exposes different elements than the novel, while all the while staying fairly true to its source material, highlighting Fitzgerald's' subtle writing style and presenting the "madness" of the Jazz Age. As for the music, it seems strange indeed to listen to Jay-Z in a period film, but here, the way Baz Luhrmann incorporates it, it actually works, or it worked for me at least!
As it has been pointed out in other reviews here, the direction is great, the cinematography flawless and the actors all do a splendid job in bringing the characters to life. Especially Leonardo Di Caprio, who proves once more he is a quality actor and deserves recognition. (The Oscars committee seems very reluctant when it comes to all things Baz Luhrmann, as they proved in Moulin Rouge, but I do hope Di Caprio receives a nomination).
All in all I believe that this is a masterfully filmed movie, magical in its presentation and thoroughly entertaining if one approaches it in its entity. Anyhow, I think Baz Luhrmann deserves to be applauded for taking on such a challenging mission as transferring Fitzgerald on screen. He does what he likes, what he knows best, and he does it WELL!!
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Let the magic fill your screen !!
Woody Allen directs Owen Wilson, a typical example of a modern American actor, in a movie built on two elements : the magic of the City of Light and the unbelievable spiritual and artistic prosperity of the 20's. As the protagonist travels back in time, the viewers have the joy of watching parade in front of their eyes the creme de la creme of the artistic world of the time : the Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Eliot, Picasso- just to name a few. Some may find it a bit slow for their taste, but it is, certainly, an interesting, positive and entertaining film. A movie that reminds you that there was a time when bars were filled with stimulating conversation, when everybody dreamed of becoming a poet, when great people lived and thrived !
To be or not to be ? Excellent movie, for the period film- lover and not only !!!!!
Stage design, costumes and acting are the three premium qualities that make this movie a delight, virtuously filmed and executed. The depiction of London in the Elisabethan times is impeccable to the tiniest detail and Vanessa Redgrave's performance is magnificent. The plot concerns the lifelong works of prolific and celebrated author William Shaekspeare, yet he is only a secondary figure in this historical and political thriller. The audiences are confronted with the question of how did Sheakspeare, the illiterate son of a glove maker, produce such masterpieces. Was it indeed him ? Through a- not-so-well-knit plot, but still a twisting one, we are presented with all the backstage power games of the royal court, the intrigue, the love affairs, that seem to have inspired Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford into writing the celebrated plays. That is ,at least, Mr. Emmerich's suggestion.