The Great Gatsby (2013)
I have avoided this movie for nearly two years. The reason for this is that when I first heard about it I was really excited about it and in my heart really, really wanted it to be good, nay, great. Then I read the first batch of reviews that ranged, on the polite side of things, to deem that it was merely okay, to flat out awful. But now I have finally given it a shot, and I have the following to say. Parts of it are awesome. Parts of it are awful. Put those parts together and you get a movie that is a strange mix of awesome and awful, which, depending on your mindset when you go into it may lead you to feel that it is either awful, or at the very least a mixed bag. I loved, loved, loved the style and cinematography here. Every shot is stunning for the most part. I hated, hated, hated the use of modern music. I understand why it was done, and I didn’t mind this strategy when Tarintino used it in Django Unchained, but in this movie it just irked and distracted me, especially considering the rich reservoir of jazz age music that could have been used here. The choice to have Nick narrate this movie from an insane asylum was another puzzling framing device. All in all, I did not mind the acting. DiCaprio was fine as Gatsby, although I think after he has played Howard Hughes, and (although this movie was released later) the Wolf of Wall Street a braver casting decision should have been made here. Toby McGuire is also good, but the direction here is too self serving for its own good. And the treatment of the themes of the novel seem very paper thin. It is hard to believe anyone who worked on this film could even write a B level book report of the source material.