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Thread: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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    Default The Great Gatsby (2013)

    Baz Luhrmann strikes again in the summer of 2013 with his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, with Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. This is great casting, and although I'm sure Luhrmann will take a few liberties with the presentation of this novel, I'm extremely eager to see what he does with it. His Romeo + Juliet is excellent for all its bizarre interpretations, and it pains me to learn today that the release date has been pushed from December of this year to summer of next.

    The trailer is stylized as heck and looks pretty dang good to me.

    I'll probably reread the novel before it opens. To be honest, I've never cared much for Gatsby and think it is overpraised. It has been my contention for years that among English majors, there are The Great Gatsby people and there are The Grapes of Wrath people, and I have always been among the latter. But I'm willing to give the novel another chance, especially since I think this movie could be brilliant.
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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    Iíve never heard of this Gatsby vs Grapes thing, but if thatís the choice, then I guess Iím a Gatsby. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels (though I liked The Grapes of Wrath as well). However, I hated the first movie version (with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow). After seeing that, I concluded this novel is unfilmable (for a very different reason than the upcoming Cloud Atlas project). So Iím looking forward to this new Gatsby movie, if for nothing else than I am curious if they can produce something worthy of the book.

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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    Cool. You were an English major? Can I ask you this, then? If you were forced to choose one novel as the greatest American novel, what would it be?
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    http://www.huffenglish.com/gatsby/slang.html

    Yeah, see. He's the bee's knees,the cat's pajamas.

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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Can I ask you this, then? If you were forced to choose one novel as the greatest American novel, what would it be?
    Thatís a tough question. There are so many ways to interpret ďgreatest American novel.Ē I will tell you my three favorite American novels: The Sun Also Rises, The Sound and the Fury, and The Great Gatsby. But if you put a gun to my head and say choose, Iíll do a cop-out and pick a fourth: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While itís not one of my favorites, I do recognize its significance in American literature.

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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    The Great Gatsby (2013)
    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan. Directed by Baz Luhrmann.

    I have said for about twenty years that among English majors, there are The Grapes of Wrath people and there are The Great Gatsby people, and oneís preference says a lot about what one values in literature, and it might say something about personalities too. Gatsby has always been a mystery to me, but previews for this latest film adaptation by Baz Lurhmann were so interesting, I was hyped from the beginning. Iím not sure what I was thinking.

    Given only one sentence to explain the film, I would say that the things I like about the novel I also like about the film, and the things I dislike about the novel, of which there are more, I also dislike about the film.

    But let us pause for a moment to acknowledge the filmís biggest asset, which is nearly perfect casting. Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway is really the key for this film, as so much of what makes the novel work is Carrawayís narrative voice reciting F. Scott Fitzgeraldís beautiful prose. Maguire as the trusted observer is great. Leonardo DiCaprio is probably nobodyís idea of Gatsby, but heís an excellent actor and it didnít take long for me to forget what I pictured Gatsby to look and sound like. DiCaprio from now on will by my Gatsby. Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan is a truly inspired choice; when I first heard that DiCaprio was going to be Gatsby, I said, ďHm. Interesting!Ē A few seconds later, I heard that Maguire was going to be Carraway, and I said, ďThat could work.Ē And then I heard that Daisy would be played by Mulligan and I said, ďOh my gosh, thatís perfect.Ē And she is perfect immediately, from her first scene. You could see how Gatsby could create himself for a woman like this. I wanted to do it too, just for her.

    Everyone else is fine. Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan isnít quite as beefy as I imagined, but heís fine, and in fact I found him easier to sympathize with in this film version of Daisyís husband. Iíve been on a little bit of an Isla Fisher kick lately, and while not as curvy or fleshy as my imagined Myrtle Wilson, sheís also fine. And I know this is going to sound stupid, but I kind of pictured Jordan Baker as a dark-skinned woman, possibly black, but an Australian actress named Elizabeth Dibicki plays her and she is long and lean and pale, lovely to look at and probably a much more fitting choice that I would have picked.

    If I have spent too much time discussing the casting, itís because casting is the movieís strength, and when you think about a film whose story is as familiar as The Great Gatsby, youíre not doing much more than evaluating the actorsí portrayals and the directorís interpretation. But of course thatís not true if you havenít read the novel. So for those who havenít, I will say that Gatsby is a big story about a bigger-than-life personality as seen through the eyes of someone who may be deluded. Itís an intriguing story with a great setup, but like its source material, it gets tiresome and it takes too long to get where itís going. There is something ambitious about the story and about a film that tries to present it, but the filmís many strengths are still inadequate for propping either of them up. In this respect, the film is a rather faithful adaptation.

    6/10 (IMDb rating)
    61/100 (Criticker rating)
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
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    Default Re: The Great Gatsby (2013)

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    Cool. You were an English major? Can I ask you this, then? If you were forced to choose one novel as the greatest American novel, what would it be?
    Wow, we are swamped with English majors! (Though I only went as far as a B.A., then switched to cultural anthropology for my M.A.) It's a great degree to fall back on. I wrote for Boeing, the military, VeriFone, the State of Hawaii and UH Research programs. It was fun, and I learned a lot.

    I'll get back to you on that novel.... Frankly, I think nothing surpasses Shakespeare. S. Clemens is very human and insightful in all his works, but I like a bit more complexity in my reading.

    Frankly I was not that impressed by TGG, but I was so much younger then, I'm younger than that now.
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