Thursday, October 31, 2013

Movie Reviews: The Great Gatsby (2013)

There are some classics that should never be touched. But Robert Redford’s 1974 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is not so perfect that it should be sacrosanct.

According to Rotten Tomato’s aggregation of critical reviews, only 37% of film critics gave the 1974 version a positive review. And I would have to agree. Redford, whom I feel is usually a brilliant actor, seemed to be phoning it in. Mia Farrow said in an interview that he spent his time on set in his trailer glued to the Watergate hearings and was distracted on set. And in my opinion, it showed in the complete lack of chemistry between the stars.

Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation fared better with critics, but only marginally so; only 49% liked it. And this time, I would have to disagree. Luhrmann can sometimes be a little too frenetic for my taste. It took me a long time to warm up to Moulin Rouge. But with The Great Gatsby, he puts that energy to fantastic use with the party scenes in particular.

But party scenes aside, the film does lag a bit. Perhaps this is simply an unadaptable book. But overall, I would have to say I enjoyed it. It will probably make my list for Best Cinematography. As for other categories, it still seems too early to tell.

Rating: 3 ½ stars

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