Movies

Thoughts on The Great Gatsby


I was actually prepared to hate this remake. I’m not a big frog-man ehm Tobey Maguire fan and I find Carey Mulligan uber boring. A normal looking Leo was the only saving grace this movie seemed to offer. That, and the sweet modern tunes of today thrown into a roaring 20’s backdrop. The whole new music in an old setting thing has been done, but I’m always a fan so whatevs.

An off-putting factor of this film is that it’s 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, I figured that I’ve spent 3 hours watching a young Leo race around the Titanic, so why couldn’t I endure this?

Instead of reviewing this flick, I’m just going to touch on some points of interest. Because now we all know that I’m the worst at reviewing movies.

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan is not what I expected. 

I was ready for a droopy Daisy snore fest but instead I received magical Daisy chain of wonder. Lol what is that sentence? In the 1974 version of The GG, Mia Farrow played a selfish Daisy. And a very sweaty one. Is it just me, or was everyone in that movie dripping? However, in the 2013 version, Carey Mulligan plays the Daisy that everyone wants to be. She’s a relatively happy character even though her life is in shambs (shambles). It was a different take on Daisy, but I dug it. I also totally dug that Ms. Mulligan beat out a bunch of other actresses for the role including the one that shall not be named (Blake Lively). I don’t acknowledge her existence after she married my other husband Ryan Reynolds.

The trailers were misleading.

Didn’t the previews make this movie seem like an post-modern celebration filled with Jay-Z music and obnoxious flappers? Yes, it did. It was actually much calmer than I was expecting. Which is good. I really really really loved how Baz “Why is your name Baz” Luhrmann depicted the preppiness of East Egg and the new money castles of West Egg. My favorite scenes were when the audience first met Daisy in an ethereal tangle of sheer curtains and when Nick, Gatsby, and Daisy spent the day together, gallivanting around Gatsby’s property to the musical accompaniment of Lana del Rey. Perfection.

The minor characters were just as good as the main characters.

Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker

Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker

I feel like some casting directors get ballsy when it comes to choosing smaller characters by selecting wild cards (Isla Fisher plays Mrytle Wilson, wife of the mechanic) or take chances on nobodies (Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker, a top female golfer/best friend of Daisy). That being said, everyone really proved their worth, especially Joel Edgerton (who played Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s super rich husband) and Jason Clarke (as George Wilson, the mechanic stationed between East Egg and NYC).

The costume choices were superb.tumblr_mmt9v2WvSW1qcdozto1_500

I couldn’t really think of a last point besides the fact that Leo was awesome, so I guess I’ll just touch on the wardrobe. There wasn’t a stand out outfit that really made me drool like Keira Knightley’s green dress in Atonement, but there were some great looks. I appreciated all of Gatsby’s outfits, especially his pink linen suit that he saved for hot summer days. I thought Daisy’s dresses were lovely, but for some reason I liked her best in the black silk robe that she wore around Gatsby’s mansion.

Have you seen The Great Gatsby yet? What did you think?

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41 thoughts on “Thoughts on The Great Gatsby

  1. Addie says:

    I read the book. That was/is enough for me.

    Piece of trivia–Mia Farrow, dressed as Daisy, was on the cover of the first issue of People. She didn’t look too drippy there…may have been due to some great matte makeup.

    • I’m actually not a fan of the book! I like the movies much better 🙂

      I didn’t know that fact about Mia Farrow on the cover of People. Good party fact! Yeah, I feel like movies back in the 70’s couldn’t figure out how to matte for the film cameras. Check it out. Robert Redford is soaking.

    • Nice! Yeah I’ve actually never seen Baz’s version of Romeo + Juliet so I should probably check that one out. I’ve heard great things. But I’ve seen Moulin Rouge and I thought it was good. I think you’ll really like this one for sure.

  2. I can’t wait to see this film, now that I know you’ve given it your stamp of approval 😉
    It looks interesting to say the least, and I appreciate the music choices. I’m more curious than anything.

    • Yeah I think you’ll dig it for sure. Yeah I thought the whole film was visually stimulating which was good, but it wasn’t over-stimulating. Just enough. Tell me what you think of it!

  3. Haven’t seen it, but this remake begs the question “Why?” I can say the same about Grown Ups 2. (FYI I’ll be actively campaigning against GU2 from now until its opening weekend in July.)

  4. Just saw it in 3D because we got there too late, and it was way stimulating. My eyes were like Kaa’s (the huge snake with the twirly hypnotic eyes) in Jungle Book when I got out. The movie is a work of art: every scene could have been a painting or something, stilled and hung somewhere. The story line is captivating and troubling, as life often can be. I agree the trailers were misleading, but then again, what could they show except the parties and the glamour without it being a spoiler? One of Leo’s best works. He looked surprisingly better than ever, my 72-year-old mother even noticed.

    • Lol yes of course I know who Kaa is! Nice reference. I don’t know if I could handle this movie in 3D–that’s pretty intense! That’s true that the trailers couldn’t really show much other than the parties. Leo definitely shined in his role. He’s great in everything he does. I don’t understand why he hasn’t won an Academy Award yet!

  5. This film doesn’t come out in Australia for another two weeks. Why, Australia, why?!?!?! I am really keen for this film. Even though I heard it got booed at Cannes. Uh-oh. Saying that, Tree of Life won at Cannes and that film looks beyond weird.

    I like that they chose Carey Mulligan too, particularly since I dislike Blake Lively intensely (don’t find her attractive and she can’t act. What a terrible combination for an actress). She appears quite sweet and you want to side with her, plus she usually picks pretty good movies.

    Also, I’m really psyched for the costumes, and they’re in an exhibition in Melbourne (alongside the green drool-worthy dress from Atonement) so I’m hanging out to see that too!
    Plus. I think he goes by Baz, because Barry just doesn’t sound very creative.

    Phew! Sorry for the long post, but I’ll end it on; I liked this review, you do ‘non-review’ reviews very well.

    • That’s so cool that you have all the costumes there! Love it. Worth the wait, definitely. I wonder why it got booed at Cannes? That’s such immature behavior! Tree of Life seemed so trippy! I didn’t see it for that reason hah.

      Thanks girl! lol you’re probably right about the whole Barry/Baz thing.

    • The movies are way better than the books in my opinion. I think it would be interesting for you to see this without really knowing what’s going to happen. Or maybe you do know? Leo is awesome in it.
      Thanks mate!

  6. ZZ says:

    I would pay cash money to watch Carey Mulligan read the phone book, so I liked the movie.

    Actually, I would probably pay cash to watch our host Lily do the same thing, so that may be why I’m reading here. That and her superb wit of course.

    • Lol seems like we have a big Carey Mulligan fan on our hands! And a big Lily fan too! Thanks ZZ! You know exactly how to stroke my ego!

  7. I have to agree with your highlighted points. When reading the book there are many more points of discussion as one contemplates the nuances of the story while the movie connected many of the dots blatantly for the viewer. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the ride.

    • Very true. I felt like I had a better grasp on the book after watching this version. I didn’t remember the green light being at the end of Daisy’s dock in the book, I just remember it being mentioned. Was that Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation or was that in the book and I’m just dumb? Haha

      • It is definitely in the book but it is a more subtle symbol. Fitzgerald leaves more space for the reader to interpret and infer than Luhrmann.

      • Yeah I remember the green light itself being in the book, but not that it was at the end of the dock. Although I like how Luhrmann did that. Made everything click for me better 🙂

  8. Marya says:

    We are big, “Strictly Ballroom,” fans in our family. A masterpiece. Loved this GG interpretation. We saw it last week as a family in a historic, over the top, movie theater named, “The Oriental.” When the GG was over, most of the audience didn’t leave. We all just sat there pondering the who, what, why, when, where and how. Your movie review was excellent., cousin Lily.

    • That’s awesome that you guys had the right atmosphere for the movie viewing. So awesome. I like how the green light faded out until the end. No one in our theater moved for a bit either and it was pretty cool. Thanks cousin Marya!

  9. Saw the film last night and loved it. I wasn’t really expecting to like it, But I am a huge fan of Baz Luhrmann and the fact that his films are so visual and pretty.
    And, although she shined in this film, I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds Carey Mulligan boring.
    Leonardo, however, has once again captured my heart (especially after recently watching Django Unchained..he was icky in that).

    • Leo was definitely gross in Django Unchained but the fact that he could play that part and Gatsby in an equally convincing way makes me really respect him as an actor.
      Baz’s films are definitely stimulating for the eyes. He did a great job with this one. I still need to see his version of Romeo + Juliet!

      • His Romeo + Juliet is exquisite. I had it on VHS long ago but picked up the special edition DVD. It’s a heartbreaking story to begin with but with Luhrmann’s visuals and soundtrack it will leave you weeping.

  10. I just saw it last night. Unfortunately I missed a huge chunk due to an emergency phone call, but what I saw I loved. I felt like Leo really really got Gatsby’s heart-wrenching hopefulness across perfectly. I actually winced for him when things didn’t go how he wanted. I’m one of those rare people who enjoyed the book though, and I liked that Baz kept to the tone of the book so well. I love the Redford/Farrow version, but it was a bit more about the nastiness of well-monied people and not the utter contrast between Gatsby’s mind and dreams and his means of achieving them.

    Ahem. I’m sounding like an English teacher.

    • I think you’re right about the Baz version vs the Redford/Farrow version. I like the English teacher in you! I like how they also did a bit of background story for Gatsby. I thought that was cool how they brought to life his full character. Kind of a cool idea. It helped me understand his character better for sure. Yeahhh it was awesome 🙂

      • Baz is amazing. I’ve yet to see anything of his I didn’t like.

        I own a good portion of his stuff too. Gatsby will be joining the collection most definitely!

        I liked the background story use too. It’s so brief and arguably one of the driest part of the book. Baz just makes everything so pretty. I feel like he could do a movie on dog shit and make it gorgeous and jazzy-R&B good.

  11. My daughter, Sarah, saw it on Monday with her school, no less!
    She thought “Toby Maguire looked like he was on drugs, his eyes were so wide!”
    Overall, though, she liked it.

  12. I read this yesterday when I was on a train and had a sweaty man’s arm pit in my face. Let’s just say I would rather have that sweaty man’s arm pit in my face again then see this movie. The only bigger dick in the history of entertainment who is seen as a good guy other than Gatsby might be Clint Eastwood in The Good The Bad and The Ugly. He’s not good. He’s a real bastard, like the real Clint Eastwood. I still love him though so I guess I can’t blame women for being in love with a criminal womanizer like Gatsby. They should have done it with someone less attractive than Leo and seen how many people flocked to this flick. Maybe in an alternate universe.

    • This version makes Gatsby totally lovable, which is not exactly how the book or the Redford version portrayed him. BUTTT you should just see it because it’s pretty entertaining. Hah they should’ve switched Tobey and Leo and made the entire world cringe.
      I think Clint Eastwood’s most believable part was in Gran Torino. He seemed like he would be a lot like that racist old man. But a lovable racist old man.

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