It's hard to believe that The Great Gatsby finally hits theaters this weekend. I feel like I've been staring at heartmelting photos of Leonardo DiCaprio in 1920s best for years now anticipating this thing. Considering it's been plenty of time since I read the book back in high school, I'm MORE than ready for a welcomed refresher.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the movie brings F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic book to life. It follows Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) on his journey to New York City in 1922 where he meets Jay Gatsby (Dicaprio) and gets caught up in his whirlwind of dazzling parties and alcohol. On-screen, Dicaprio is joined by a fantastic cast including Carey Mulligan as Daisy, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton, and Elizabeth Debecki among others.
The big question: does the film match up to the book? Check out what the critics think in their Great Gatsby reviews, here:
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe:
Leonardo DiCaprio gives us the full Gatsby, assured yet insecure, and he’s magnificent, but the movie ends up romanticizing what Fitzgerald spent the book de-romanticizing.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times:
Fitzgerald's Gatsby is in fact very much a slender reed, a tragedy in a minor key. What's problematic in Luhrmann's version is that while his screenplay takes pains to parallel the book's tale of Jay Gatsby's star-crossed love for Daisy Buchanan, his filmmaking point of view suffocates beyond resuscitation any dramatic interest the story might have generated.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday:
[The Great Gatsby] remains a captivating riddle, which may be why no filmmaker has created the "definitive" version. Luhrmann, the fourth to try, hasn't, either -- there's a lot to dislike here as well -- but his is easily the most entertaining Gatsby yet.
Christy Lemire, Associated Press:
[Luhrmann's] Gatsby is all about the glitter but it has no soul ... His camera rushes and swoops and twirls through one elaborately staged bacchanal after another but instead of creating a feeling of vibrancy, the result is repetitive and ultimately numbing.
Hmmm. All of this is very intriguing. After reading the book, one would think that something elaborate and over-the-top is just what Gatsby demands, but I'm interested to see if Luhrmann's style is just TOO much. Check out The Great Gatsby trailer, here:
Are you planning on seeing Gatsby this weekend?
Image via Warner Bros.