Saturday, we went to see The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann’s version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel. We first began seeing trailers for this film way back in March, I think, when we went to see Oz: The Great and Powerful. We looked at each other, and made a date to see it together. Well, the free time wasn’t quite there for us in May or June, but we finally had an opportunity to see it early Saturday afternoon without the kids being present.
The film stars Tobey Maguire as Nick, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, and Leonardo Dicaprio as the titular Jay Gatsby. I had enjoyed the novel as a teenager in high school, so I was looking forward to this film I’m not a huge fan of Baz Luhrmann, but I thought he had an interesting vision for Moulin Rouge way back when. The film is told from Nick’s perspective as the audience is introduced to him as a temporary(?) resident of a sanitarium. Nick recounts his sordid tale of coming to New York from his native Chicago to find his future as a writer. He meets up with his cousin Daisy Fay (now Buchanan), who lives a pampered if unfulfilled life in East Egg, Long Island with her boorish douchbag philandering husband Tom Buchanan. Nick later meets his intriguing neighbor Jay Gatsby, who throws these amazingly decadent parties every weekend.
The film looks great, and the music is all Jay-Z songs, sung by Mr. Shawn Carter himself. Anachronistic? Yes, but I thought it was an interesting creative choice. Baz Luhrmann is big on style and music, and I thought it worked. The film starts a little slow as it introduces the audience to the world and the characters, but it was all interesting. I did start to get a little antsy towards the end before the finale. It just felt that the film was getting a little drawn out a tiny bit towards the end, but still an enjoyable film.