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The Great Gatsby
MR_Heraclius15 February 2020
I've read The great Gatsby book several times and I watch the original movie before Han d. Of the two movies this one really captures the essence of the book. On people complain about the narration but it was only solution to really accurately convey the story. The parties are epic and that's what I kind of felt they were in the book. DiCaprio deserves more credit.
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An intriguing story re-told again with attention to mystery. 8/10
naregian8 May 2013

I know a lot of the other reviewers will compare this film to the older one and also the book, so if you're interested in a comparison, stop reading here. I want to review this film as a movie that tells a story, like every other film. I don't want to review this as a film that tried to beat its preceding film adaptation.

I myself have read the book and have always been so intrigued with the character of Gatsby, and when I heard a few years back that he would be portrayed on the big screen by DiCaprio, I couldn't wait. The character carries such a mystery about him that was delivered so excellently by Leonardo DiCaprio, and made it so fun to watch. It was almost like I didn't know what the ending was because I was so immersed in 1920s New York, and in the lifestyle of The Great Gatsby.

The film itself, as a film, was awesome! The visuals and soundtrack were captivating and lavish. The acting was great overall, as you can trust these actors to deliver.

I read somewhere on IMDb (message board or another reviewer, I can't remember) that Leonardo wasn't a good fit for the role of Gatsby. I think this statement couldn't be more wrong. If you have read the book, you must have some idea about the depth of Gatsby's character, the depth of his mind, his desires. The false smiles, the phony handshakes, the uneasiness in being in public, the way Jay Gatsby conducts himself in front of Daisy, and in pursuit of her. All these things are delivered so well by DiCaprio. His nerve, his frustration, his determination...all so eloquently portrayed. But most of all, his passion, and as Nick Carraway, our narrator so emphatically reminds us, his hope. The character development of Jay Gatsby, and the development of all those surrounding him gives us such a deep look at the relationships of such a diverse category of people.

The storyline is obviously interesting: A man realizes his new neighbor is a mysterious, and incredibly wealthy man. Like how awesome is that? Throughout the whole film, as the relationships between all the few main characters become deeper and deeper, and the questions become answered, you just can't help but feel so into the characters' lives. Great writing for the characters, great directing, great great great acting.

Overall, this is just a great film. If you go into the theater thinking "oh this'll suck compared to Robert Redford" or "I bet the book is way better", you're setting yourself up for a bad 143 minutes. Don't be so close minded and try to view it as just another film that tells a fictional story, and a great one at that.
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Maybe Someday!
Hitchcoc3 January 2014
Maybe it's not possible to portray one of the greatest books ever written on the silver screen. This is at least the third time and I've been really disappointed all three. Neither DiCaprio or Redford (both of whom I really like) catch the true sense of the mysterious Gatsby. At least Redford was a bit detached. His failures of the past are in his head. DiCaprio (or the script he must follow) make him seem like a giddy love soaked schoolboy. He is so obsessed as to appear weak and maudlin. Another issue, however, is with the portrayal of Nick Carraway. Tobey Maguire is just too cute. I never pictured Nick as the little boy seen here (Sam Waterston, while not perfect, at least seemed like a possibility). Again, I like Maguire in other roles, but here he seems nothing more that Gatsby's toy. He's still physically lacking as a leading man. Mostly, it just lacked a bit of pizazz. Luhrman seems to think he can do it all visually, but this is a story of lost souls, trying to recover something they can't seem to reach. It fades and fades and in the end, it's hard to care much. Also, the portrayals of Daisy and Jordan just don't seem to draw us in.
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Extremely silly
Leofwine_draca31 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose the thought behind hiring Baz Luhrmann to direct THE GREAT GATSBY was that he could bring the Roaring Twenties as described in F. Scott Fitzgerald's book to life in a lavish, vivid, and colourful way and he does that all right. The first thirty minutes of this film is a headache-inducing overload of the senses, with everything directed in a way which makes over-the-top sound like a tame description. It's as if a kid ate a jar of sugar and then went berserk with tins of paint in an all-white room. The effect is nausea-inducing, and the worst thing for me is the use of anachronistic music (hip hop) and the like instead of period-era fare. The rest of the film settles down a bit, but the story still feels lightweight and drawn out, with a minimum of characterisation. Leonardo DiCaprio does the best he can with what he's given but you feel a bit sorry for him due to the lack of direction he receives, while others like Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan are miscast and out of place. Isla Fisher is embarrassingly bad. This is the kind of disappointment that I do my best to erase from my memory soon after watching.
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Has a lot of imperfections that stop it from being great, but of the four adaptations this fares the best
TheLittleSongbird18 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a great, no, wonderful book, a beautiful story and just as brilliantly written and one of those books where you can read in one sitting and not feel bored at all. In my reviews of the previous three versions it was said that I wasn't entirely sure as to whether it was one of the all-time literary greats. After reading it again in preparation for this film- considering that it is based on a great story though it's also by Baz Luhrmann(whose style you either like or dislike)- it does deserve this distinction as well as a contender for the best American novel.

Before seeing this films, I saw the 1974, 1949 and 2000 versions. All had good things but also a fair number of flaws, neither really doing the book justice. That is not saying at all that this film is 100% perfect because it isn't, and it doesn't completely do justice to the book. However despite some questionable stylistic touches the spirit of the book and prose as well as of the Jazz Age are here in the way that the other three versions didn't really do so well. It is easy though to see why people criticise the latest version of The Great Gatsby.

The first 20-30 minutes are very rushed and overblown with editing that is so dizzying it could induce a seizure. There are a couple of nice moments in the soundtrack, like some of the background music and a bit of Gershwin(the use of Rhapsody in Blue was clever), but the hip-hop/rap was overused, overbearing and anachronistic(I confess also that I detest that style of music so there is some bias). The CGI was overdone and not needed, it also looks a little too cartoonish. Tobey Maguire is the weakest of the Nick Carraways(the best being Sam Waterson), the observer and the glue of the story, he's too wide-eyed and too much of a blank and doesn't really convey the dignity, carelessness and social awkwardness.

On the other hand, the film on the most part looks great, it is beautifully shot and the lavish costumes and sets are never short of exquisite. The party scenes generally have the glitz and glamour any party of the 20s would do. Also period-detail wise it's the most authentic to the 20s period, like for example Daisy's clothing and cropped hair. Where The Great Gatsby(2013) scores the best of the four adaptations is in the depiction of the Jazz Age, it is glitzy but there is also the sense of fun, danger and excitement that weren't there before. While there is Luhrmann's style written over the spirit of the story is essentially there.

Nick's narration has a lot of lines directly lifted out of the book and much of the dialogues are the same(the old sport utterings get too much though admittedly). The story has the life, emotion and passion that the 1974 film as a consequence of being too faithful did not have. And the structure and essence are present with Gatsby still an enigma(always was part of the book's allure, 2000's ruined that quality by revealing Gatsby's background and who he is far too early). From the first 20-30 minutes there is a real temptation to turn the film off, but if you stay with it it does slow down and becomes a huge improvement to what was seen before. Some won't like the sanitarium stuff, actually Nick telling the story in retrospect to someone else was not too bad a storytelling device and did better than how the 2000 version did it.

As with the acting, it is very good and is the most consistent cast of the four versions. Only Maguire didn't across as well as he ought to have done. Leonardo DiCaprio lives up to his character's greatness. There is a sense of him paying homage somewhat to Robert Redford's mannerisms but instead DiCaprio is much more charismatic in the role and there is much more of sense of mystery, more charm, more yearning and a sense of arrogance. This is also the only one of the four adaptations where I found myself really liking and relating to Gatsby. Carey Mulligan is also the best of the Daisys, a character that wasn't played very well at all previously. With Mulligan she is pretty and doesn't play too blandly or stridently, there is a charm and spirit about her but she doesn't make us forget that Daisy is shallow and selfish as well. The chemistry between the two is more convincing than that of the other versions, in a way it is somewhat cold but it is in keeping of the sense that their love is incompatible.

Joel Edgerton is the second best Tom after Bruce Dern. He resembles the character better physically, but is the only actor after Dern to actually get the attitude and mannerisms of Tom exactly right, he is a real hard-edged brute but with a glimmer of tenderness instead of being too suave or too soft. Jason Clarke is good as George, he does show a tormented side but also a sense of not being the brightest bulb on the block. Elizabeth Debicki is beautiful and witty and brings depth and assurance also to Jordan, despite being somewhat underused, and Isla Fisher is appropriately conniving as Myrtle if not as much a sleaze as Karen Black. Luhrmann does direct efficiently with much of the drama being allowed to breathe while bringing his own style to it, though there are scenes with it being too much. The pacing is rushed to begin with but when it slows down there's not much of a problem.

Overall, not the great motion picture it could have been, but I found it very enjoyable and the best of the four adaptations. The best version will always be the book though. 6.5/10 Bethany Cox
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"The Great Gatsby" Review
Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," is fairly accurate to the classic novel and keeps most of its themes intact. However, Luhrmann's own flair adds a new dimension to the story. Visually this film is incredibly stunning. From grand sets to the detailed period dresses, this film is a treat for the eyes. Never once does it not take your breath away from its impressive scenery. Many people might be worried about the updated music, but there is nothing to fear. Jay-Z's track works incredible well with the film and complements the era in which it is set.

The direction in this film is impeccable. The cinematography is marvelous and really lets the viewer absorb the sheer artistry that has gone into making this film. Luhrmann keeps a high level of energy throughout the film and the party sequences are choreographed and edited in a way that it makes you feel envious of not being apart of it. Editing in the film is seamless and really keeps the viewer engaged. A common criticism the film receives is that it is more style than substance, however, I must disagree. This modern interpretation doesn't forget its themes and morals from the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald tale.

Performances are phenomenal by the entire cast. Carey Mulligan's Daisy is every bit as careless as one would expect, but she also manages to show some complexity in her role. Tobey Maguire is a great avatar for us to take on as we enter this film. He is very much the viewer as he sees everything happening, but is ultimately helpless to change anything. The true standouts in the film are Joel Edgerton and Leonardo DiCaprio. Edgerton as Tom Buchanan brings a lot of personality to his character that I thought was absent in the book. He's a bit more tender and more vulnerable, especially when he finds out his wife's secret. The true award recognition worthy performance comes from DiCaprio's Gatsby. He hones on being a respectable, but idealistically insane man. His performance is not only compelling, but also charming and quit hopeful. He truly deserves some recognition come Oscar season.

Overall, "The Great Gatsby" is a fantastically entertaining and enthralling film. It is horribly underrated as it is filled with awards worthy visuals, sets, costumes, direction, and performances. It is a great time at the movies for anyone that enjoys the classic novel or who haven't even heard of it. Not only is this film dramatically satisfying, but also quite humorous and a spectacle like no other. I give it 4.5/5, a great adaptation of one of the greatest novels ever written.
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Nothing exceeds like excess
copyright90814 May 2013
THE GREAT GATSBY There is no movie I have been more prepared to dislike than this one. How dare some Aussie come over here and tell us about the meaning of one of the great works of American literature. Especially this Aussie, Baz Luhrmann, who is known to overload, over-hype and overcook his theatrical product into a glittery miasma of small meaning and little consequence. (i.e. Moulin Rouge)

But I was wrong.

Jay Gatsby has achieved success in a fashion beyond most imaginations, excepting his own. In true Horatio Alger tradition he has worked hard to improve himself, but when his past creeps up on him and threatens his well crafted self image, he suavely and effortlessly changes it, his past, and he inhabits the change until it becomes the reality. He is the self made American man in every way. He is the American success myth both personified and perverted.

Unlike Alger's heroes, he has not followed the straight and narrow. He has acquired his fabulous wealth through bootlegging and stock swindles.

This belief, that he can change his past, to correct it as it were, has given him a veneer of respectability that has put him in good stead with his underworld connections. But it is not for them that Gatsby has made this remarkable metamorphosis. No, he did everything, and I mean everything, for the love of a woman.

Daisy was Gatsby's great love, but he lost her, and now in one final herculean effort he is going to correct his past this one last time. He is going to win her back and make things as they should have been.

Leo DeCaprio is the only actor of this generation that could play Gatsby, just as Robert Redford could only play Gatsby the previous generation. Redford's Gatsby seemed reticent and insecure about his past; regretful that he must live a lie in order to accomplish his goal. DeCaprio's Gatsby is forceful, decisive; he is a determined man of significant accomplishment and great ability. He has a plan and he is going to execute it and as far as he is concerned, for all the right reasons. For myself, it is DeCaprio's best and most powerful performance.

This decision (both DeCaprio's and Luhrmann's) to take Gatsby down from some ethereal literary icon into a flesh and blood human being gives the movie an intensity that the 1974 version and most of the literary criticism of the book that I have ever read, never perceived. This is not a shining white knight rescuing a damsel in distress; this is a bare knuckles brawl for the hand of Daisy, and she is going to have to choose.

Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) is Gatsby's antagonist. He and Daisy were married when Daisy could no longer wait for Gatsby to prove himself worthy of her. Tom is as rich, maybe even richer than Gatsby, but his money is old, he is an aristocrat with a deep sense of entitlement. He has status and wealth because he's supposed to have status and wealth, and he's not about to give up all that, and certainly not his wife, to this new money usurper Gatsby, without a fight.

Bruce Dern played Tom as a kind of loopy (Dern's specialty) racial conspiracy nut, but Edgerton gives Tom a much harder edge. When Tom espouses his vile racial philosophies one might think that someday he might actually do something about it.

Daisy (Carey Mulligan) is a tough role. For all the time that Gatsby spends trying to prove he is good enough for Daisy, the audience, for the book or the film, is led down the path that she is not good enough for him. Mia Farrow played Daisy as an airhead and a dingbat, but Mulligan gives Daisy a bit more spine, and fashions a character that has a pretty good idea where her self-interests lay.

Luhrmann and co-writer Craig Pearse stay pretty close to the text with a few additions and devices, most notably, to those of us who read the book, know that it is Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) who tells the story, and is a firsthand witness to all the events, but we never knew from where he tells the story. Luhrmann tells us it is from a sanitarium where Nick is drying out from excessive alcoholism.

As for Luhrmann's reputation for excess: Well, he certainly visualizes Gatsby's parties as excess, but they are supposed to be excessive, excessive materialism is part of the point of the story. There are times when Luhrmann can't resist himself and feels the compulsion to punctuate matters with some visual flourish, but I did not find it too distracting. His decision to go 3D however, I think was wise. The characters seem to come out of the screen and get next to you. You get to know them personally, and after all this is a very personal story.

I think this story has survived the test of time so well because it is basically a love story. Whatever the viewers or readers opinion of the characters are, Gatsby and Daisy do love each other, but Fitzgerald was not interested in boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl and they all live happily ever after. Where Fitzgerald reached his own aspiration of creating high art is in wondering if living happily ever after is even possible in an age of class consciousness, even class warfare, that is driven by a compulsive materialism in a world changing so fast that we can't even formulate the question before we have to come up with an answer. Luhrmann stays true to these themes and displays an avid curiosity about them himself.

What he has created is a work of art that stands very well on its own.

check out
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Famous scenes and symbolism re-imagined beautifully but also problematically
napierslogs11 May 2013
"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. 'Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had.'" I have been frequently convinced that Baz Luhrmann does not know how to read, but I do have the advantage of literacy. However, I am not Nick Carraway and am not compelled to follow his father's advice that opens Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby".

The first big problem with this movie version is that Tobey Maguire's Nick is not the same Nick that we know and love from the novel. This Nick is a quirky, agitated simpleton who has gone insane and has decided to become a writer. His voice and disposition was all wrong. Nick is no longer our credible vantage point into the selfish, boorish ways of the old money and new money of Daisy, Tom, Jordan and Gatsby in East Egg and West Egg.

Much has been said about the lavish style of the film's sets and imagery and even more about the ludicrous soundtrack. But it mostly works. I don't think anyone can deny that the unrestrained money, extravagant mansions, brilliant costumes and choreography with a lively score just make the whole story seem more fun.

I still have no idea what the point of the 3D was. Nick's bow-tie and the strange shooting style (mostly prominent early on) just made everything look cartoonish. At times, it looked like they were driving Gatsby's yellow car through the set of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". The cartoon- stylings mostly affected Nick; Gatsby's parties are always supposed to be at least slightly surreal.

Problems definitely arise in the beginning when Luhrmann chooses to use his typical flash editing and put some party scenes out of order. The randomness of it all and Nick becoming even farther removed from the narrator we once trusted, was only re-confirming that this was in fact the disaster many expected it to be.

But then we met Gatsby. And more importantly, we met Daisy. And even more importantly, Gatsby met Daisy. It is literally impossible to live up to the expectations about Gatsby – both the man built on wild whispers of him being a war hero, but also the literary character so ingrained in popular culture that he has earned the adjective "great" in front of his name. Leonardo DiCaprio does as good a job as anyone could reasonably expect of him. He drew me in, and since Nick couldn't do that, it was even more than I could ask of him.

One of the significant themes glowing throughout the novel is that of hope. Luhrmann even recognizes this with Nick referring to Gatsby as the singularly most hopeful man he has ever met. And then we would get a shot of the green light glistening off the water and through the fog from the end of Daisy's dock. The one thing missing from DiCaprio's interpretation of Gatsby was that earnest hope. I felt like a photographer on a model shoot: "Now give me a look of hope! No, that's anger. Give me hope! No, that's sadness. Give me hope! No, that's frustration. Fine, just give me another look of despair."

Gatsby yearned for Daisy. And so do we. Carey Mulligan's Daisy was probably the most accurate character re-imagined from the novel. Starting from her introductory scene where she lay on the couch and the wind rustled her white curtains and her diamond ring sparkled in the daylight and then she turned to stare at Nick, she filled the screen with her ethereal beauty and faux innocence. I don't think it's surprising that the film takes its best form in the scenes where it's just Gatsby and Daisy.

It's hard not to get wrapped up in the grandiosity of Gatsby, the grandiosity of the story, and the grandiosity of the film's visuals. It's a beautiful story and it does look beautiful on the big screen, but then comes the nagging suspicion that Luhrmann never actually read the novel. After all, half of the quotes are just paraphrased and are not the actual lines from Fitzgerald, and all of the scenes and famous imagery are only the ones that have seeped into the public consciousness (straight from the Cliffs Notes, perhaps). It should work well as a way to introduce another generation to this accomplished work of art, and I do applaud them for that, but it doesn't serve those who already know the book well.
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Overdone, overlong and deadly dull
preppy-327 May 2013
This takes place in the 1920s. Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire) narrates it from a sanitarium. It's about Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is VERY wealthy and his obsession with Daisy (Carey Mulligan). The problem is she's married to someone else.

The novel is great but this movie completely trashes it. It makes ill-conceived changes in the story and goes on far too long. Also it's WAY overdone. There are endless parties at Gatsby's mansion and they're shoved in your face nonstop. A few times I had to close my eyes because there was too much going on! I saw it in 2D--in 3D it must be impossible to watch. When it isn't in your face it's deadly dull and moves at a snails pace. To make matters worse Maguire is lousy. Totally blank-faced in his role. Mulligan (who can be good) was even worse! I never got a grasp on her character or motivations. On the other hand DiCaprio was great as Gatsby. He's grown into an amazing actor. Very good-looking too. But this movie is mostly concerned with visuals--not the story. It manages the impossible--it's boring and overdone at the same time! Read the book instead.
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Film was good except the annoying music/soundtrack
jessicamoyle4 May 2019
I like Luhrmann's take on films and soundtracks usually - but this film's strange annoying choice of music style was really off-putting. It was so mismatched like they were trying to MTV it with advertising Coke or something mainstream. Shame, would be great to see this with a soundtrack that suits the style of the storytelling/theme.
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Almost the disaster I thought it would be...unnecessary dud
Robert_duder8 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, let me say that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is absolutely one of my favourite novels. Additionally, though it has been years since I've seen it, the Robert Redford film was brilliant and I loved it. From the moment I saw the trailers for this version I was heavily skeptical. Heaven knows that someone like Baz Luhrmann needs to make things flashy and extravagant and put a modern twist on a classic story. He did some brilliant work with Romeo and Juliet nearly 20 years ago. However, I was worried and now seeing it it has been confirmed that his version of Great Gatsby is an excessive, chaotic, bright, jazzy mess that completely misses the entire concept of Fitzgerald's classic. The modern day rap music and remixes weren't awful but also weren't necessary either. The elaborate (and admittedly brilliantly done) set pieces of a bizarre almost apocalyptic New York and surrounding area seemed to just take away from a story that should be entirely character driven. The story does mostly follow Fitzgerald's story and yet at the same time completely misses its mark and the pacing felt off entirely. There is no doubt that The Great Gatsby is not an action flick or anything but parts of it dragged.

This is a talented group of people and yet, in my opinion, completely miscast and that includes the legendary Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio was so miscast as Gatsby and he tries so incredibly hard that it comes off as fake. If I had to hear him excruciatingly and awkwardly say "Ol' sport" one more time I was going to scream. DiCaprio is a brilliant actor as long as he has the right role and this was not even close to right for him. He was too young (or at least baby faced), awkward and didn't fit the bill. Same could be said for Tobey Maguire. I don't know why they chose to cast these baby faced actors for the film but it doesn't work. Maguire carries the film decently but just not good enough. Joel Edgerton is probably the best cast in his role as the abrasive, womanizing Tom Buchanan. He is definitely the most watchable and the most convincing in his role. Carey Mulligan carries herself well and certainly has this subtle sexuality that is perfect for Daisy and yet the character comes across as near boring. The chemistry between her and DiCaprio is okay but not timeless and passionate the way it should be between Daisy and Gatsby. The cast work well together but not as good as I think it should have been.

The single issue with this version of The Great Gatsby is that all this flash and jazz has been created without any thought to the true heart of the story. This story is all about greed, pride, obsession, and gluttony and the threads of each one of those is barely existent in this story. I'm actually very surprised that the film is doing as well as it is especially after being delayed for a year before release. One of the most powerful scenes in the original film was Gatsby's death and once again it is handled well, and powerful and its also artistically done. I simply felt that the cast tried far too hard and came across as unconvincing and the film had more modern glitz and glam than was necessary. The pacing was nearly excruciating at times as it stumbled through an otherwise classic story. I had very low expectations going into this and it met those low expectations but barely and did nothing to exceed them. 4/10
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Good film, bad musical score
bkoganbing30 July 2013
Only a poor soundtrack filled with contemporary music spoiled this latest version of The Great Gatsby for me. In a tradition of blond Gatsbys, Leonardo DiCaprio steps into the shoes of Alan Ladd and Robert Redford in essaying the part of the social climbing bootlegger from the Roaring Twenties. All that will make Jay Gatsby's life complete is the love of Daisy Buchanan whom he courted before his service in World War I. The problem is that she's slightly married to upper class Tom Buchanan. Daisy is played by Carey Mulligan and Buchanan is played by Australian player Joel Edgerton.

In fact except for DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway the whole cast is mostly Australian which is to be expected since most of the production was shot there. I have to say that the Australian studio did a marvelous job in recreating New York of the Twenties and the ritzy and glamorous part of Long Island where most of the story takes place.

As the book is written in the person of Nick Carraway it was also a good move to have Maguire narrate the story. Tobey's narration gives us the background of the story and Carraway's character functions as he should.

Leonardo DiCaprio does a wonderful job playing the social climbing Gatsby who weaves his own legend as he gives fabled parties on Long Island where the illegal liquor flows freely. Beneath his self assurance there is a bit of a frightened edge like this is all going to be taken away from him so enjoy while you can.

Perhaps the producers thought that no one would see a film with old music in it. There is some there, Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue comes to mind. But the contemporary music on the soundtrack is jarring and out of place.

But overall this is a good telling of F. Scott Fitzgerald's tale of the Roaring Twenties.
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Dazzling The Tale
billygoat107121 May 2013
The Great Gatsby tells a lot of stories and gains more themes so on. This new adaptation takes a different direction and unique scale. The experience feels familiar to other Baz Luhrmann film, which means it's quite dazzling by his fabulous style and creating an over-whimsical version of the setting. The easiest thing to say is it's fun as a Baz Luhrmann film, but it kind of glosses over the story too much. While it's generally stunning, it didn't dig deeper within the context. The Great Gatsby is fascinating enough but it could have been much grander than what it was shown on screen.

The film did follow the book, it takes a lot of time exploring its setting, characters, and conflict, but explores only little on what's beneath it. The Great Gatsby actually has something more than just romance, but the film's storyline ambition mostly lies in there. The film mostly glosses at the points that suppose to provide more depth to the story which makes the possible satires of the period feels missing. But the film still has plenty of life. Beginning with the performances, Leonardo DiCaprio is definitely the kind of actor who can perfectly play the role and he did standout to be the better Gatsby than anyone else who portrayed the role. Tobey Maguire did what he usually do in movie but he is fine enough as Nick Carraway, same goes to Carey Mulligan as Daisy. Joel Edgerton steals all of his scenes by his intense performance as Tom Buchanan.

The direction is spectacular however. Baz Luhrmann still perfectly uses his own style to tell the story. There are many extravagantly magnificent sequences, especially the party scenes that works amazingly even in 3D. The style really shows how ambitious this film will be and it transcends the scale which makes it wholly an interesting cinematic ride. Around with visual pleasures, there's the soundtrack and music score also keeping things groovy.

It's hard to deny how enjoyable the experience is, but it could have also taken a higher perspective to the actual story. To be much fair, it did a remarkable job bringing it to the screen in a spectacular way with a cast who are very enthusiastic. While the visuals flare endlessly, the storytelling makes the overall film gripping. It's somewhat disappointing how some of its morality was left as a background even though people will say it's not necessary to take it seriously, but everyone has their own aspect on reading the book. The Great Gatsby is not as satisfying as it deserves but it manages to be incredibly eye candy and thoroughly entertaining.
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Total garbage
headly6619 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
An incredibly noisy mess of a film filled with nonsensical dialog, modern music that makes no sense in the setting and acting like out of cartoons. This director is all flash over substance, seems like he directed it on 10 hits of acid. Nothing original, nothing new about it. This is a film for simpletons and the weak minded.

Dull beyond belief. Headache inducing. You will want to shoot yourself in the head after twenty minutes. I can't imagine anyone who actually liked this and have to give it a one star to counteract the 10 star reviews by people who most certainly don't know what good movies are about.

Simply ruined Gatsby, the book was never like this, but anyone under 30 will think it's cool. Rap music? Really?
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Stop being pretentious and enjoy a decent film.
nurkeverly10 May 2013
After seeing this film I was more than a little disgusted to see so many negative reviews. The main problem with this film I find is in the first 20-30 minutes, a common problem I spy in Luhrman films that should by no means define an entire film. Giving away nothing the film begins at a brisk and overly flamboyant pace but after a bit it hits what I like to call "Baz's golden point", slows to absolute perfection. That first half hour will leave more than a few shaking their heads, but power through it and you will find The Great Gatsby in all its glory. Luhrman stays as true to the source as he can and Dicaprio gives yet another glorious performance. If I'm going to be honest I think a lot of the negative reviews coming in are due to the "classic" status of the book, people want to act like the hours of school discussions should make this film less fanciful and serious 100 percent of the time. Thing is we have that version twice over in the 1974 & 2000 adaption. Gatsby 2013 is beautiful, over the top, heart wrenching, and thoroughly enjoyable flick that I shall always highly recommend.
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It is as bad as some says
dierregi24 April 2016
I did not read the novel, nor saw the 1974 movie (or rather, I forgot about it, because I found it very boring). Also, I liked a lot both "Strictly Ballroom" and "Romeo+Juliet", so I was definitely not awed by the novel or prejudiced against the director.

Unfortunately, my open-minded approach did not help. This movie is a mighty mess, for two basic reasons that have nothing do with the source material or Luhrmann notorious bombastic style. These reasons are: awful acting and lack of chemistry, and they make the whole story collapse.

Maguire is awful. I never noticed what a bad actor he is until I saw him playing Carraway. All he does is stare with his beady eyes and make grimaces. Being in almost every scene, he positively destroyed the movie.

Di Caprio e Mulligan have zero chemistry. Impossible to believe in any passionate feeling between these two.

Besides, spoiled, coward and selfish Daisy Buchanan is one of the most repulsive fictional characters. It was weird to see two men fighting for the affection of such an obnoxious woman, whose only saving grace is a pretty face. Not unusual, but I just could not buy into the "tragedy" of mystery man Gatsby pining for shallow Daisy.I wanted to tell him to get a grip and find a better woman.

Then comes the horrid music, the overblown party scenes and materialism trumping "feelings" in every scene (what was that throwing shirts at Daisy? Was Gatsby employed by a luxury garment store?).

If I have to save something, I'd go for the Lana Del Rey song and the final minute of the movie, both because I liked the typing on screen and because it brought this mess to a much awaited closure. "So we beat on, boats against the current..." (I did my research ....)
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The soundtrack made it unbearable
kendavies-0511014 August 2017
Whoever decided that blaring modern pop/ hip hop music into a story of the early 20's was a good idea needs their heads examined. It not only removes you completely from the story but jolts you so far out of it that you need a few minutes to try and refocus yourself back into the story. (and that's not a knock on this genre of music, it just has no place here..)

After an hour, I could stand no more, the acting and story seemed great, but the soundtrack was too much to take.

So much great music was made during this time period that if used effectively could have elevated this story. Such a waste.
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It's true to the book and looks fabulous - isn't that enough?
jayjaycee4 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
"The Great Gatsby" is a 2013 drama directed by Baz Luhrmann starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. One and a half year ago years ago, I already gave this novel adaption a watch and thought it was good, but not as outstanding as I hoped it to be. Well, it was during a phase I always expected every single DiCaprio feature to be a masterpiece, so that is what probably shattered my expectations back in the day. Another factor that contributed to my confusion and misunderstanding of the film was probably that, at that time, I haven't even heard about the original novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald this film is based on. I don't even know what lead me to give the adaption a watch without having read the book beforehand, as it is totally antithetic to my general habit of reading the source material first. Mostly, I want to do it in order to be able to draw a comparison between the two and since I felt that the character of Jay Gatsby still fascinated me immensely afterwards and strangely even more recently, I decided to purchase the original novel by Fitzgerald and give it a read. Well, even though it was in the English language (as I said, I bought the original version) I was able to comprehend and finish it within only four days. From start to the tragic ending, I was absolutely absorbed by it and it was almost impossible for me to put it down in any way. What Fitzgerald created is legitimately one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. The lifelike characters, the dramatic conflict, the way he puts all of this in words are just wonderful and beautifully formulated. Even if I finished the novel in less than a week, the characters grew dear to my heart and I miss them. It is strange what great literature can achieve, isn't it? With the impact it made on me still in mind, I then decided to give it a rewatch under those new circumstances. To my amazement, the film did not become worse to me, quite the contrary, it became even better. It was my advantage that I knew about the story this time and it shows. While it still isn't a perfect film, I am brave enough to claim that it is technically a perfect adaptation. The characters are exactly like I pictured them in my head (while Daisy looked more like Michelle Williams in my imagination) and the actors and actresses portraying them don't just play them, they embody them. DiCaprio is brilliant as the titular mysterious millionaire, Maguire plays the role of the observing Nick Carraway wonderfully and Carey Mulligan is magnificent as the irresolute twofold beloved. Also, Elizabeth Debicki was born for the role of Jordan Baker, but the biggest surprise is the man who portrays the antagonistic brute Tom Buchanan. You probably can relate when you have a few actors that you just can't bear to see onscreen for no particular reason, in my case, one of them is Joel Edgerton. Might it be his disastrous acting in "Gods Of Egypt" (where I encountered him first), but I am genuinely unable to stand him as an actor. Not him as person, I don't know him personally and he probably is a nice guy, but as an artist I just dislike him. That is why I am so tremendously impressed by him in this film, as he managed to make me reduce my aversion towards him with just one performance. What I am trying to say is that each and every role was perfectly casted, not only in terms of outer appearance, but also their talent. They all embody the characteristics of their respective roles seemingly flawlessly, as if they had just jumped out of my brain into the screen. The authenticity and perfect depiction of the protagonists isn't the only thing this film managed to adapt superbly, it is also they story that amazes me. Let's put it this way, the film is incredibly true to its source material and shows every single scene of the novel, just. It is getting to the point that roughly more than seventy percent of the spoken dialogue is taken directly from the novel and I am asking you: What more could you wish for? You get exactly what you know from the original source and you can see all of it coming to life - literally! For hardcore fans, there are also several small details to spot that were derived from the novel that are not mentioned directly by the characters, but were extensively described in the book (Gatsby looking at Daisy for thirty seconds - they made that shot exactly as long, for instance). I guess what probably many people couldn't deal with was the admittedly weird and frantic directorial style of Luhrmann, but as a huge fan of "Moulin Rouge" I am used to his weirdness. Of course, a few scenes are run through extremely fast, especially in the beginning and that made it uncomfortable to watch, but aside from this, the rest of the story is perfectly paced in my opinion - just as it is in the novel. If there is one unforgivable transgression in this movie, it without a doubt must be the music used in this film. From all the beautiful classic songs that Fitzgerald mentioned in his novel they had to use pop music from the twenty-first century. In the name of God, why? In the case of "Moulin Rouge" it was somewhat charming that they deliberately created anachronisms by including chart hits from the eighties and nineties, but that fitted in the context of the overall surreal nature of the film, in this case it absolutely does not. It was utterly ridiculous to see the people in a serious drama that takes place in 1922 dance to "A Little Party Never Killed nobody" by Fergie. It seriously disturbed the authenticity that was build up before. Fortunately, this atrocity happened to occur only in the beginning and fades to the background from there on. Well, at least the overall style of the film makes up for this massive misstep. I mean, come on: The visual, the costumes and the cinematography masterfully capture the pompousness and fabulousness, but also the hidden vulnerability and melancholy of the story and are exactly as Fitzgerald has pictured them. The Academy Awards for the best achievement in costume design and production design are more than deserved, least to say. It isn't only that, they also managed to capture the quintessence of the conflict of Jay Gatsby who glorifies the past, is obsessed with elusive ideas and eventually dies as a martyr. Like the novel did, the ending of the film made me incredibly sad as well and makes the same disillusioning statement as the author made: Money and wealth always prevail over personality. Yes, the same social criticism that Fitzgerald shows off in this adaptation as well and still hits at the correct spots. All in all, this romantic drama is not only exceedingly wonderful to look at and caries causing eye-candy, it also knows how to treat its complex source material with immense respect (except for the choice of songs, of course) and masterly adds enough to make it more conclusive for the audience of the film (like making Nick the author of the "novel", for example). It without a doubt is exactly the same as the novel and hasn't changed a bit, and in my opinion this is what makes it so incredibly enjoyable. The thing is, while reimagining something you can never please everyone. While adapting a literary source you will never be able to please all: There are some that say that adopting the source material one-to-one simply shows the lack of creativity, there are also some thinking that heavily changing it is an expression of disrespect. Whatever you do, you just can't win. I personally think that both ways are indeed possible to master and might create a great film and in this case it is just brilliant to see an exact realization. I mean, you also don't go to a Shakespeare play and complain that it is the same as in the books, you know? To someone who deeply loves the original novel, this adaptation is perfect and deserves more appreciation. It is neither too long, nor too short (the end credits run for almost 13 minutes (!), so don't be discouraged by the runtime) and doesn't feel boring at all. Not even once. It is a perfect adaptation but no perfect movie, still I think it is heavily underrated.
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one the 3rd act was noteworthy
djurrepower23 June 2021
The movie is really slow in getting into pace. The first act was quite boring, and the soundtrack gave me a headache. That discothek/hiphop music felt so out of place it was cringeworthy.

After some painful waiting we get to the 3rd act where the potential of this movie begins to shine through. But even though the 3rd act felt like some fresh air, it only showed that the movie could have been so much better.

I would have loved a more character driven story. With more spirit and character. And more stylelized in the camp eastetic of the roaring 20's. But alas, we're left with this stinker of a movie, that draged its feet 75% of the time. Should have cut so many things, because this movie's runtime did not help.

4/10: just don't.
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The book was so GREAT........This movie was so terrible
werefox0822 June 2013
This is really awful. There is so much wrong with this could write a book about it. Mixing modern music with 1920s music? Hey Baz Luhrmann (director)----cant you live without CGI and additional nonsense??? The 1974 version was not great...........but it was in so many ways much better than this drivel. Robert Redford was a real Gatsby ...his use of the upper class language was 100% better than DiCaprios .....who never got the Gatsby character (he was terrible). Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, Karen Black, Scott Wilson.....the 1974 supporting cast...... were far superior to this 2013 rabble. The director Baz Luhrmannm came to Australia recently to promote this insult to Scott Fitzgerald on the television media and said he was retiring soon. He needs to. O.K.....Old Sport ?....Fitzgerald would have hated this. He would have also disliked the 4 previous movie attempts at this work. Leave Gatsby alone movie makers----or call in the A team of directors. (and actors)
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A Travesty Beyond Description
dianerpessler-4616427 July 2015
DiCaprio? Really? This entire film is an abomination and a blasphemous corruption of one of the greatest works of American literature. Putting an actor like DiCaprio in it just adds insult to injury. There is barely any connection between this rock video style film and F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. The movie is trash and shouldn't share the title of that masterpiece. Of course, does anyone read anymore or do they rely upon no- talent actors and sensationalist directors to interpret literature so they may spare those precious hours required to actually enjoy a book for video games, cell phones, and reality television? One thing is certain. Fitzgerald isn't rolling over in his grave in response to this garbage. He's nodding knowingly.
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A completely uninformed, non-historical, ridiculous, laughable farce and a disgrace.
tday29 May 2018
After reading it my first year in college and being completely mesmerized, I wasn't completely thrilled with the 1974 version (critics agreed). Mia Farrow's performance was a bit over the top, but the movie, as a whole, captured the magic, sadness and despair of the book. (Karen Black & Sam Waterston were the standout performances.)

But this? I could barely watch it all in one sitting, it was that bad. Poorly acted. Poorly representative of the book, and rap and modern music? It is just pure, disrespectful garbage. DiCaprio's performance was a joke and totally unbelievable. He obviously never read the book, or he was completely unable to glean any of the emotion or meaning of his character from it. I actually laughed hysterically at how poor his performance was at times.

The only saving grace of this movie (or the reason for the single star) was Carey Mulligan's performance. While I don't think she portrayed Daisy correctly in any way (not fragile enough), she is always a joy to watch.

And to IMDB, if you are worried about "spoilers" with regard to The Great Gatsby? I realize it's on every title, but if you don't know the story by now, that's a very sad testament to this great piece of literature. It certainly was greatly disrespected by this director and TPTB who made this travesty. Fitzgerald is spinning in his grave.
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Beautiful, But Empty
thatgirlmyra-994626 August 2021
This movie is definitely beautiful, you can't deny that. No expense was spared with the sets, costumes, and effects. But honestly, everything else about this feels so... empty. Nothing about this movie felt worthwhile and in the end, I feel like two hours of my life are gone forever.

The problem for me is that this feels more like a YA coming-of-age story than a retelling of Fitzgerald's classic novel. The pacing, the soundtrack (oh jeavens, the soundtrack)... it feels all wrong.
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Modern Reincarnation of a Literary Classic!
g-bodyl22 August 2014
This modern retelling of the Great Gatsby is actually a lot better than people give it credit for. It's a film that goes a long way in successfully adapting the themes based on the abundance of wealth and love into the final product. It is visually enhancing and the visuals make the film borderline magical. It's vintage 1920's New York thanks to the strong production design and the costumes are realistic, thus giving the overall film a realistic tone. However the one thing that annoyed me was the music. The score itself was fine, but there shouldn't have been any rap music in a film that takes place during the 1920's.

Baz Luhrmann's film has Luhrmann's trademark flair for visuals so the movie was certainly pretty. But this film is about a poor man named Nick Carraway who moves in next door to his mysterious neighbor, Jay Gatsby. The two men get to know each other slowly but surely, but when Nick finds out that Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy, things will surely get complicated.

Leonardo DiCaprio made an excellent Gatsby and he really captured the essence of the character. He really showed how Gatsby doesn't fare well in public and all his fake smiles, but he really showed the love that he had for the married Daisy. Leo had a scene here that really reminded me of a scene of his in Django Unchained and both involved tempers. Tobey Maguire does an excellent job as the narrator of the story who is drawn into the mysteriousness of his neighbor. Joel Edgerton does a great job as Daisy's suspicious husband, Tom. Carey Mulligan certainly makes an elegant Daisy.

Overall, this is a fine adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved novel. With all the main characters here, each one of them has their faults and we hate them for that, but we are drawn into each character wondering what will happen next. I was absorbed into the film, and I even forgot at times what will happen (I read the novel, so I know), because I was so absorbed. If it wasn't for that blasted hip-hop music, this film would have been near perfection. But alas, a very good film anyhow. I rate this film 8/10.
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I did not entirely hate it
Bart_OP11 May 2013
What I thought worked in Luhrmann's Gatsby:

I thought DiCaprio was a better Gatsby than Robert Redford (Redford was too old and underplayed the character). I thought DiCaprio understood a complex character and was adequately convincing.

I Love Carey Mulligan and thought she was mostly convincing as Daisy.

I liked it when the story stuck to Fitzgerald - which was about 75% of the time. (having just read the book again in the last 6 months, I recognized most of the Dialogue as true to the book)

I thought the Costume Design was exquisite. Catherine Martin has done costume work for all of Baz Luhrmann's films and won an academy award for costumes in Moulin Rouge!(as well as being nominated for Romeo + Juliet and Australia. Her work is again superior here - one of the real strengths of the film...

I thought the 2nd half of the movie was much better than the 1st. While I generally did not like the soundtrack I loved that Gershwin's' Rhapsody in Blue' snuck in there in the first scenes in Manhattan.

The "Valley of Ashes" and the "Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, Occulist" sign are really well done - but sadly, the scenes there are so rushed and so downplayed as to prevent that location from being the symbol of death Fitzgerald intended it to be...

The scene in Nick's house where Daisy is invited to tea and re-meets Gatsby.

What I did not like about it:

Every scene with Tobey Maguire in it. His Nick Carraway is too much of Gatsby's lapdog. He is too wide-eyed throughout the story. By the end of the movie I was praying for George Wilson to shoot him.

Luhrmann's story telling device (Nick Carraway in a Sanitarium telling the story to a Doctor who encourages him to write it) - Really Baz Luhrman, you're gonna improve on Fitzgerald?

Luhrmann's other story telling device: the words on the screen. Yuck!

The Art-direction. Everything was too over-the-top and garish. Gatsby's house looks like a Disney creation. One might argue that this is okay because the new-rich are often garish. But part of the character that Fitzgerald wrote was that he was convincing as a monied man.

The sound-track of the 1st half of the movie. Typically Luhrmann; and I have loved it in other contexts. It did not work in Gatsby. After the last party scene, the soundtrack was much better and the rest of the movie felt like Fitzgerald to me.

BTW - I generally am a fan of Baz Luhrmann's work. I loved Romeo + Juliet while it was being panned by professional critics. And I found Moulin Rouge! delightful..

Moet Champaign (which apparently bought huge stock in this movie)

Joel Edgerton ('nuff said)

The over-the-top garishness of the production is so distracting that the great social themes of the day are almost completely lost. They are so subtle int he book and they must be subtly depicted in cinema. They are so subtle as to be almost entirely lost in this production. When I first read the book I felt such sympathy for almost every character (except Tom Buchanan). I did not really care about the characters in this movie at all.

That Damn green light - much too much. It is a powerful but subtle symbol in the book. Let a symbol be a symbol without having to constantly refer to it and without hitting your audience over the head with it.

Because I did not think it entirely sucked, I will give it a 5. Adolescent girls will disagree with me (even as they are failing their Gatsby finals because they based it this mediocre retelling of the story). Fitzgerald and Gatsby fans will think I am being too generous

Note to Hollywood - If you are going to make a movie based on a great work of literature, respect and humbly submit to that greatness, and make a movie worthy of the original.
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