Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Impression: The Great Gatsby

Remakes are the name of the game for 2012, and Baz Luhrmann has thrown his hat into the ring with his retelling of The Great Gatsby. Luhrmann certainly has his work cut out for him: F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel is one of the most beloved of the 20th century, and the 1974 film adaption featured a stellar cast and a script penned by Francis Ford Coppola. The film's trailer caused quite a buzz this week. In conversation with my buddy Stephanie of Classified Cinema Club, we break down the trailer and discuss our first impressions of the film.

JessFirst of all, the casting is bonkers.
Stephanie:  Bonkers is seriously the best way to describe it.
Jess:  I can get behind Leo and even Toby, but then why cast somebody 15+ years younger as Daisy?
Stephanie:  I agree. I like Carey Mulligan a lot, and she would be a Daisy if her male leads were younger. You're so right about that.
Jess:  You know, she always looks sad to me. The book always describes Daisy as being dizzy with glee and so emotionally moved.
Stephanie:  Well, Daisy is kinda a little pathetic, but pathetic in all the best ways. She's kinda flighty
Jess:  And giddy!
StephanieI was just typing giddy.
Jess:  Mulligan is so not giddy. She's That's it! She's not dumb enough.
Stephanie:  Haha, so incredibly true.
Jess:  I can't imagine her crying over beautiful shirts. As for the setting and design, I think it may lean a bit too costumey/burlesque instead of art deco.
Stephanie:  I would prefer to see a modern retelling of it, something totally fresh.
Jess:  That would be interesting. I totally love the old Gatsby movie. Sure, it looks like they smeared vaseline on the lens, but the casting is so good.
Stephanie:  I kinda like that whimsical look to it. It plays so well on the element of romanticized nostalgia.
Jess:  That's a great way to describe it. I feel like Luhrmann has eliminated the romanticized elements. It's all glitter and no lace. What do you think of the music?
Stephanie: I like the music, but not for this story. If you're going to go for the 1920s, then go all in. Don't modernize the music. Once again, it would have worked for a modern adaptation of it. I don't know, I might change my mind once I see it all play out on screen.

Suffice it to say, we're not totally sold on Luhrmann's adaptation yet, but we are very curious to see the final cut. Gatsby hits theaters in 3-D this Christmas. In the meantime, what are your first impressions of the film? 


  1. YES! I completely agree with what you've said. Leo and Toby? I think this could work.

    Also, I have to say that that glimpse of the eyes of Dr. T.J. was not as creepy as the original. I didn't really like the Great Gatsby book, but even in print those eyes haunted me and Coppola got them just right. I'm still haunted.

    Knowing me, I'll end up seeing this flick. It might be good for what it is, but I don't think it's going to be "Gatsby" if that makes sense.

    1. Great spot! I so vividly remember the eyes on the cover of my first copy of the book. They're just so iconic, yet they don't leave a lasting impression in this preview. I'll definitely see the film for curiosity's sake, but I intend to go in with a healthy dose of skepticism.