The 5 Most Ridiculous Things About ‘The Great Gatsby,’ Old Sport

The 5 Most Ridiculous Things About 'The Great Gatsby,' Old Sport

Opening a bit bigger than expected this past weekend and getting ready to explode confetti over crowds at Cannes later this week, Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, is totally ridiculous. It’s a rococo doodle, one full of flash and dazzle and sparkle, but empty inside, which would be an apt metaphor for the titular character if Luhrmann would slow down long enough to establish such things (even if he did bother to try to the make the connection, it would probably be besieged by schizophrenic cutting and accompanied by a Jay-Z song). In fact, it was something of a chore to narrow down the list of the most ridiculous things about “The Great Gatsby” to just five. We could go on and on all day. Oh, and spoiler warning old sport.

While we seem to be ragging on “The Great Gatsby” pretty hard (read our review here), it is probably worth seeing, if only to join in the discussion (the title sequence is pretty cool, honestly, and there are sporadic moments of genuine wonderment). And after you watch it, please, come back, and tell us if we’re totally off-the-mark or if we’re forgetting some things even more worthy of dissection. Onward…..

1. “Old Sport” Is Not A Catchphrase
Leonardo DiCaprio says “old sport.” A lot. It pretty much serves as a suffix to almost everything else he says. Yes, it’s a part of the novel and yes it says something about his character – a cultivated affect that he stole from someone whose wealth was actually a more intrinsic part of their person – but after the big reveal about where it came from (which goes over about as well as that episode of “Lost” where you find out why Desmond calls everyone “brother”), the amount of “old sport”s could have been diminished significantly. It is not. Repetition is part of the Baz Luhrmann playbook – from the shot of the sooty billboard to the phrase “old sport” to that damn Lana Del Rey song (of which there are a few different versions) – one that is just as tired as hearing Leonardo DiCaprio utter the same phrase ad infinitum. And for a movie that is already wildly one-dimensional in terms of its characters, saddling Gatsby with a catchphrase doesn’t help. Remember when Jeremy Renner couldn’t stop saying "chems" in "The Bourne Legacy"? It’s like that, but about ten thousand, glitter-covered times worse, and at least Aaron Cross needed those pills. 


2. The (Broken) Framing Device
Admittedly, the first hour of “The Great Gatsby” is its most breathlessly entertaining, at least in a sort of high-off-the-exhaust-fumes-at-a-monster-truck-rally kind of way. But that first hour is marred, almost immediately, by the god-awful, wholly invented framing device of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), institutionalized (for what exactly? Alcoholism? Depression? Over-acting?) and telling his story to a sympathetic shrink. Not only does this awkwardly position Maguire as the lead, without his character ever driving the story forward in any real way (he’s totally devoid of agency or discernible goals), but it’s also boring and totally dull, especially since most of this “institutionalized time” stuff takes place in the snowy winter, far from the sweltering setting of the rest of the movie. This highly unoriginal framing device (ironic, considering it’s being used to tackle what many consider one of the finest pieces of American writing) might be the worst bit of gilding an already overly shellacked lily, causing an overlong, bloated monstrosity to be even more cumbersomely ornate.3. The Editing
For someone who seems to have such a firm grip on what they want to achieve, visually, Luhrmann seems totally unconfident when it comes to maintaining those visuals onscreen for more than a few seconds at a time. There are examples throughout “The Great Gatsby” of this, but an early (and notable) standout is when the camera is glacially tracking down a dinner table where all our characters are seated. The shot is from above and is meant to both establish the geography of where everyone is seated as well as reinstate the kind of over-the-top lavishness that the Buchanans are surrounded by everyday. We should have been given the chance to luxuriate in this moment, but instead, Luhrmann chooses to cut around to various conversations going on at the table, so quickly that you’re never able to latch onto any part of the conversation, but just long enough to disrupt the visual flow and make the whole scene feel wobbly and unbalanced. “The Great Gatsby” is full of moments like this, chockablock with things that Luhrmann just shouldn’t be doing in 3D, like excessive whip-pans (which give off a strobing effect), too many dissolves and constantly moving on to the next camera angle without a moment to take in all three dimensions. Had the movie come out at Christmas like it was originally supposed to, maybe these moments would have been cut down; as it stands, the movie feels like it’s been fiddled with and fussed over too much (something that could explain his lack of commitment to the images). Anyone baking cookies knows that too much time in the oven is never a good thing.

4. The Tonal Wonkiness
Every movie Baz Luhrmann does is a tonal high-wire act, where extreme silliness is often shoved right next door to dour melodrama (and vice versa). Sometimes this works beautifully, as in the case of “Moulin Rouge!, where camp excess gingerly gave way to true heartbreak, amplifying both emotions tenfold. When Baz’s tonal ping-pong game doesn’t work, though, you get things like the first hour of “Australia” or, even more disastrously, “The Great Gatsby.” The story of “The Great Gatsby” is a tragedy, we all know this going in, but Luhrmann still throws screwball comedy (particularly the first meet-cute between Gatsby and Daisy) in at every conceivable turn, which seems teleported in from a different movie. Perhaps most tellingly, the story is set up as an exposé on the emptiness and frivolity of Jazz Age life, and then for the next two-and-a-half hours, Luhrmann luxuriates in it, blissfully unaware he’s failing at the very goal set out by our narrator, Nick. Luhrmann can’t quite seem to distinguish which kind of story he’s telling or even what he wants to say about the era exactly, but hopes if he puts enough razmatazz on screen, it won’t matter.

5. The Writing Is Literally On The Screen
An offshoot of the horrible framing devices is that Maguire is narrating the movie and also writing about the movie. Since Luhrmann must indulge in both, we get film noir-y voice over, but we also see him write the story; at first its handwritten and then later it’s typed out, with massive chunks of text cluttering the frame. Either we should have heard the narration or we should have read the story, but not both, and not at the same time. But perhaps most curiously, this idea of tossing phrases up on screen is used very intermittently in a (lack-of) rhythm that’s jarring (and frankly, pretty amateur), taking viewers out of the experience, instead of drawing them further in. It’s another sign of a filmmaker seemingly not confident with a movie already stacked with stars, in 3D, and with an A-list soundtrack. By the end, it’s literally snowing letters, almost as if Baz has just given up and is hoping that something will resonate.
 
There are, of course, other totally ridiculous things in “The Great Gatsby,” from the soundtrack itself (the completely out-of-place will.i.am song in the middle of a jazz-era party is just one of many instances where things just don’t mesh) to the visuals, that are way over the top and add layer upon layer of distracting distance between the viewer and the emotional center of the movie (and what’s worse – the 3D looks awful). Then there are the thinly drawn characters (Carey Mulligan deserved better) and much more. Are we being too hard on the movie? What irked you? Weigh in below.

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Comments

Misha

To me, there are only 2 strange things in the movie. 1) The soundtrack – Yes, I agree with you that some songs just don’t fit the movie. They sound too modern. 2) Why Buchanan had to ask Gatsby to switch cars when they were about to leave the house to The Plaza Hotel? That scene was the key of the film’s ending, but it feels like they couldn’t think of anything else to strengthen the reason behind that idea. Buchanan just popped up with that request, out of the blue.

Rachel

A Brooks Brothers commercial

lynette

Love love love this love story. Costume were off the chain. I watch it at least once a week.

Tony

Tobey Maguire is the most annoying thing in the entire movie. As you’vementioned, he is just used (poorly) as a framing device, but he has absolutely no role in the development of the storyline. In every single scene you just see him sitting there, WHY IS HE ALWAYS THERE? He just follows Leo around like a groupie. Also, did I mention it was Tobey Maguire?

Wendy Page

…the only thing critics can do is criticize. It’s vapid and reeks of a vague sort of jealousy.

Steve

The WORST and most PAINFUL thing about this film was the way Leo keeps saying ‘Sport’ with a fake English accent, but he can’t get the pronunciation right! He says ‘SPORRR’ in an American accent which just sounds ridiculous.
English people drop the last T, but the R is also not pronounced.
More like ‘Spo’rt with the rt silent.
Really uncomfortable to listen to for an Australian or English person.

Amber

I think the movie would have been great of not for the absolutely atrocious soundtrack. I was really looking forward to hearing some 20’s era music and I was extremely disappointed.

Lynn Weinstein

Forgive two typos.

Lynn Weinstein

I hated the film. I think the book is one of the greatest written of all time and rathre liked the film where Redford played Gatsby. It was a film that loved what Fitzgerald wrote while not disrespecting it by making it into a film. This version not only makes Nick into an alcoholic (HE IS NOT FITZGERALD, Fitzgerald was a great writer and certainly in The Great Gatsby Nick is the character he wrote, not him. In the latest version, people barely exiat. All I could see was effects, sometimes like a Disney cartoon. I don’t think one second of it really had very much to do with the story, but the filmmaker’s delight in his own visual tricks.

Happy_Hippo

I disagree with most of these things, old sport. I found that it was all done well and if there was one complaint to make it was that the film is not entirely accurate to the book. This is from the emphasis on the car chases and the running over of Myrtle. In the book it’s not about how fast they were going and who runned Myrtle over. Instead it was about what the characters would say to each other about it.

T.j.

The Jay Z songs in the movie ruined the setting.

Ankara Smith

When I ponder all the terrible things that are wrong with the most recent film version of ‘The Great Gatsby’, I like to compare it to the 1974 film version with Robert Redford. I think the key word in this comparison is ‘subtle’. The 1974 film, though it has been criticized, is far superior as a film to the 2013 version. The 1974 film is more faithful to the novel, the characters are, again, closer to the characters as described by Fitzgerald, and the portrayals of emotion are more subtle. The scenes that portray the glamor of Gatsby’s life are much more realistic to the time period portrayed, as are the scenes that portray the squalor and desperation of Myrtle’s life. The scenes in New York show the beads of sweat on everyone’s faces, because the fact that it was hot is part of what drives the plot and the emotions along. God forbid anyone actually sweat in a movie nowadays. In fact, the 2013 film is a circus … No subtlety, no depth, too loud, in-your-face. The 2013 Gatsby is made for a generation of people who don’t read, have no attention span, have no depth or subtlety, and must be enticed by plastic characters with obvious emotions and by loud glitzy things in order to get the point. It’s an MTV Gatsby. This is not to say that the actors were bad. DiCaprio, in particular, did the best he could to bring some depth of character to an otherwise completely superficial film. The one actor who, I believe, was completely wrong for the part is Tobey McGuire. There is nothing that either looks or sounds mature about Tobey McGuire. Nothing personal but he’s far more convincing as Spider Man than Nick Carraway. He looks and speaks like a teenage boy but he was cast, in this movie, to play an adult and mature character and was completely unconvincing. I had greater hopes for the 2013 film, when I heard it was coming out. I was hoping that, for example, it would not shy away (as the 1973 film did) from the novel’s extremely subtle allusions to Nick Carraway’s homosexuality. Or, at least, to the one scene in the novel in which there is a possible homosexual encounter between Nick and one of the guests at Myrtle’s party in New York. In fact, just as it is easy to understand why Nick falls in love with Gatsby in the novel (for many different reasons), it is easy to see why Nick would fall for the Redford Gatsby (and not just because of his looks). It is impossible to understand, however, why one would fall in love with the DiCaprio Gatsby who, despite his looks, is a completely uncharming and unvulnerable character.

Jow

Not read so many flatlined comments for ages. Full of trolls.

JJ

Felt the film was entertaining and I enjoyed the narrative my only complain was the music and how the sophistication of the film clashed with the excessive use of music from jayz and his clan.

tom

Most like
"The 5 Most Ridiculous Things About ‘The Great Gatsby,’ to whine about"
Wasted a few minutes reading this shit :(

Tom

this article smells of someone using ridiculously bland words to try and seem smarter than he actually is

Alice

I disagree with everything you said. I think the movie was amazing. The only problem I had was they didn’t really show the relationship between Nick and Jordan. Also I think Myrtle was older in the book.

Bianca

SOOOOO STUPID. The movie is genius. You are criticizing the things that give the movie character.

Naël Soufi

I just watched the movie and i found it pretty good. The soundtrack (The XX) is rly awesome and the story is great. I like Leonardo’s acting.

Cara

The fact that you complained about Nick Carraways narrative buggs me. You say he did nothing to add to the story but the point is, its told from his perpective and there is a reason. Fitzgerald chose not to have Gatsby or Daisy or anyone else narrate it. This is a fault you are finding with the original novel, not this particular version of the movie. I think the point is to have an outsider narrate it, as that makes it more relatable to an everyday person looking in on a story.

Old Sport

The movie was great. Agree on the old sport part but u dont seem to have any knowledge about good movies. I also dont like the way u attack people in the comment session. U dont take criticism very well…. not that I am too bothered since i already forgot which website this is. Please go to school

NewWorldAtheist

Downstream, Michelle says to the Reviewer: "Just mad that Jay-Z is better than you?"

Now, this is a very telling comment and is remarkably similar to many of the others below who attack the Reviewer rather than address the substance of what the Reviewer says. It is also very troubling because it reveals a profound truth barely concealed in modern discourse: critical analysis is dead and along with it, critical thinking skills have been devalued and, worse, left undeveloped. Nowadays, everyone's opinion is precious and insightful and whatever comes out of someone's mouth is given equal weight because, after all, everyone has freedom of speech, right? But, lest we forget, freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from error.

dsvez

@Drew .Stupid review..the onslaught of ur remarks sounds personal and commecialized..people like you spoils a good project by stuffing like pages with your jealous rant..shows your inside..

CC Summer

I could not agree more! I finally saw The Great Gatsby last night. The jarring onslaught of noise and images throughout the film made by head spin. Moulin Rouge was fun and visually entertaining. Very disappointing but your article cheered me up!

Clipping Path Service

A real informative blog like this is an exceptionally cool helping resource for a needy information seeker like me! Thanks a lot…
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J. Wilshire

I've just watched the movie.

I couldn't agree any better on your point about the 3-D letters and the music.

It was stunning watching the luxury of the party, but when the songs started, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING "clicked" in my head – nonsense – I just justificated the songs with a "new way of mixing" old stuff with new stuff as a part of the Director, although obviously it was not like that.
And, finally the 3-D letters were the best distraction to get me out of the picture.

First time I see a movie from this director, neverthless the actors saved his career.

Great review by the way.

Rhys

I think uure an idiot Gatsby is one of the greatest movies ever and these are nonsense points when you have something which makes sense come again old sport !

M. Normand

Opinions are like @ssholes and everybody has one. Or is the other way around? Well here's another one.
I find DiCaprio to have matured into an incredibly fine American actor, and I found his portrayal of Jay Gatsby to be superbly precise role. Although a bit overdone at times…and of course it's a modern take on an earlier place in time…I am completely drawn in to the theme of what it was like to be rich and beautiful during the Roaring 20's. The people, the clothes, the cars, the lingo. It was all done very, very cool. DiCaprio is completely convincing, and simply perfect for this role, and I thoroughly loved his performance. The subtleties of his acting are excellent, and truly entertaining to watch. I believe time will reveal The Great Gatsby to be a modern classic, on an earlier time in American culture. I suppose it's just a matter of time before The Catcher in the Rye makes it's way onto the movie screen.

C. Lowe

I don't think you bothered to read the book. If you read The Great Gatsby, that's the point of the entire book. It's all about big, flashy, careless people that run around and do whatever they feel like doing. It was a big and flashy time. Nick narrates the book in such a way that Luhrmann actually captures it dead on. As for the modern soundtrack, Luhrmann has stated himself that he used the hip hop music to portray to young people exactly what jazz music was to the 1920's. (He states it in an interview on the bonus features of the movie.)

J.

The main problem with the film is the end. They took Fitzgerald's amazing ending and botched it by not having his father show up to the funeral or Owl Eyes. Chapter 9 brings the closure we need to Gatsby's life and leaves us with a little hope. Also, Nick isn't a loser in the novel; he is a man who learned that he had been corrupted by the East and moves back home to pursue his own dream.

Kay

Can some explain the phone calls the j gatsby kept receiving ?

andy

its the great gatsby, who is going to get it perfect?

Connor Donovan

The music, god help the soundtrack.

If pop music today wasn't terrible,

it STILL wouldn't have worked.

There could've been jazz from the 20's and a jazz score that would make it feeel like the 20's and not a costume party in the modern day (the song playing during one mansion party scene made me realize I was in a movie theater, I was watching a movie, it totally looked like a costume party full drunk people who all probably had white iphones, and that today's pop music is really terrible).

Lena

I enjoyed the movie, but I agree somewhat with your review. "By the end, it’s literally SNOWING LETTERS, almost as if Baz has just given up and is hoping that something will resonate." Hilarious. I read the book in high school, and probably would not have enjoyed the movie nearly as much if I hadn't read it, or on the other hand, read it too recently.

Steve Lawson

Have you even read the novel? You are a prime example of why film critics' opinions are irrelevant, its as if you all have no soul. Its a Baz Luhrmann and it's excellent – Fitzgerald would have loved it. As for the framing and the narration and writing the novel? That's what Nick does in the book. The whole dilemma is whether Nick is a character or a narrator and whether at any one time he is both – he effectively 'is' the lead. Next time you have a crack at writing a review, try and make it less blatantly terrible and over-egged.

Will

What awful journalism. You are entirely wrong about everything, old sport

IRRITABLE

Tobey Maguire ruined it for me entirely, his voice and the BS over acting was hard to ignore.
That and the METAPHORS. I don't want to hear another metaphor or adjective ever again after this movie.
Over all, I was utterly and absolutely appauled by the horrid acting, exaggerated wording and drowning metaphorical sentences used in this mediocre film. (puns intended)

Sonny Ebert

The music was brilliant. I didn't like every single song, no, but the idea was brilliant. Anyone else see Spike Lee's "joint," "He Got Game?" Same thing here…

Del Váuchery

This movie was good, the modern soundtrack in a 1020 scenario wa awesome and exotic, 10/10

Tommy

The soundtrack really sucks. I mean it REALLY sucks. An otherwise quite decent movie is ruined by the soundtrack.

Everything visual screams 1920's, but the soundtrack quickly ruins the ambience…

SARAH

I have read the book and although Leo's performance was amazing and he totally embodied Gatsby… the music was rubbish. In case any body doesn't know the book was set in 1922 … so why may I ask when Gatsby is with Mr Wolfsheim is there a song in the background saying (these lyrics may not be perfect but you get the idea) 'lets party like its still 1929' …. or lets not because it hasn't happened yet!

Lily

As soon as sees Nicks sees a car full of African-American flappers with a few crates of champagne and the editing goes into slow motion, lingering on this scene and an old white driver gives a nod of the head to Nick as if to say "hellz yeh" while Jay-Z raps… I knew that watching this was going to be a waste of my time.

Michael Huston

Does this movie ever end? I hit pause every time it gets boring, in-congruent or stupid. Its been two days, tell me it ends…

Boscorelli

Anyone praising this film for anything aside from Leonardo DiCaprio's performance is quite frankly an idiot.

It was a terrible, gaudy, try-too-hard mess. It took Luhrmann's tendency to over-embellish every detail of his films, and totally missed the mark. I loved Romeo & Juliet, and while I didn't enjoy Moulin Rouge, I definitely see the appeal, and how well done it was. This film however was absolutely terrible. The music was the most glaring issue. Allowing Jay-Z to man-handle the soundtrack and force as much Beyonce, and Jay-Z music into the film as possible was an awful idea. A sweeping, and beautifully shot bridge scene is marred by a totally out of place Jay-Z track, and every ten minutes just when I was starting to appreciate the characters, or enjoy the movie, another modern song came and ruined it. I thought the only one that actually fit the movie was Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful.

Tobey Maguire acted poorly in this also. Aside from the deer-in-headlights reaction to absolutely everything he sees, his character brought nothing to the story.

This could have been better with almost any other director at the helm. I feel like even if the soundtrack were better I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As is, however. Garbage. 2.5/5

For everyone calling the review writer an "ignorant hater" you need to watch more decent movies, including older versions of this film, then you need to actually read some reviews on the film, because most people absolutely despised it.

BLAIR

Totaly agree with MACKENZIE plus you are an ignorant hater

Mackenzie

You just wrote the most ignorant review I have ever read. Go take a film class and actually learn about what you're trying to teach us. You know nothing. Read The Great Gatsby before you compare it to the movie, because it's obvious you didn't understand it. Go watch your awful movies because The Great Gatsby was an amazing film and you're too ignorant to see it because you don't understand good literature.

Cary

well, i think you know nothing about good movies. thats all. it was spectacular, the actors were excellent, the dialogs and special effects, couldn't be better.

Lex

Your review, can it be any more ignorant?

jawsnnn

I think this is nitpicking. Baz Luhrmann is a director with a propensity for visual flourishes and tastefully going overboard (if there is such a thing). If his version of the Great Gatsby feels like "his version of The Great Gatsby", then I don't think he has failed.
The novel is not really very difficuly to adapt into a movie, and my thinking is that if you love the novel, you will find it pretty hard to dislike this movie. I will not go one by one on the points mentioned here, but just say this – I liked the movie well enough. I did not find it "badly made" by any measure, and going by the comments here, a lot of other people think so too. Keeping that in mind – calling it a disastrous venture, seems a little sweepingly condescending to me.

Marco

Tea drinker's on the ball

Marco

You're wrong, the modern music he uses is genius. It puts the audience in their posistion to imagine what it would be like living in their time. for example when they first walk into the jazz club/party it really feels like you're walking into a modern club, hearing this new music cranking; the jazz would have been the fresh music of their time. It's comparing their clubs to what we have now and putting the audience in their shoes so you think "that party was insane." And if you can bear to watch it again you'll notice how Luhrman repeats this process when there is a party or a time where wants to engage the audience and really put you in that scene. A bit unusual but genius. On ya Baz.

Geoffrey

Hated it. I'm usually a Leo fan, and I loved the 74 Redford edition, but I just cant get into Beyonce songs in a 1920's period piece. It's like if in the original when they were driving to the city the Thin Lizzy were playing "The boys are back in town" … Maybe when Baz does a film about life on the street in the inner city, he'll choose Mozart for the soundtrack, makes about as much sense.

Samantha

This movie was really excellent in my opinion, but I hadn't read the book at the time I first watched this film.
I admit, at first I was a little turned off by the music, but at a lot of times the "hip-hop" music was at a minimum and wasn't too noticeable during the party scenes. However, there was times where I found it too distracting, but it did not add or detract to my viewing experience. As the film went on I felt that the soundtrack's mood went very far from "hip-hop" and you started getting songs like "Over the Love", "Young and Beautiful", "Crazy In Love", and other such songs. Personally, I think the less-obnoxious songs (even though Crazy in Love is a little obnoxious, it still fits the mood) fit the film much better than the hip-hop songs used in the first hour.
Also, I don't think criticizing a whole soundtrack based on 5 or so hip-hop songs is a good idea; there is still the entire orchestral score (which is excellent) and another whole soundtrack just full of "yellow cocktail music" used in the film. They still included music IN THE STYLE of the era in the film, just not as prominently. As another commenter said, the newer music helps to draw the youth in.

Also, I hardly even noticed how many times Gatsby said "old sport", and the editing of the film wasn't bothersome to me at all. It's a very aesthetically-pleasing movie to watch (so much symmetry…), and I was dying to watch the film again only a week after first viewing it.

Tea Drinker

I'm speechless. How could you miss the greatness of this movie? I've never seen a movie that nearly executes the visions in my mind's eye when reading the respective book.

One important note about the music… you totally missed it. If it were exclusively 1920s music the movie would have felt dated and would fail to draw you into the moment of the 20s. Sound contradictory? It's not. This is one of those rare circumstances when going "accurate" would actually distance you from the accuracy of the era. The music of the 20s was new in the 20s and captured the "party" emotions that typified the era. The problem is that we're living 90 years ahead of that time, and if you play 1920s music I think of great grandma and goldbond. Doesn't really capture the spirit of the 20s does it? However, tastefully sprinkle in modern party music, queue Jay-Z and will.i.am, suddenly I feel like I'm in the 20s as someone who was experiencing the era for the first time. Nostalgia should have nothing to do with this film and the music hit the nail smack on its head.

How could you miss that? No vision.

JF

Georgia

#1 wasn't bad, Leo did well in using the expression "ol' sport". In fact, Leo was the best thing in this movie. If it weren't for Leo, this movie would have had a low critic vote AND a low audience vote.

Jennifer Taylor

The movie was wonderfully done..you're interpretation is very catty and distasteful. I characters are in fact based off the book..a bit altered but in mu opinion to give the audience the kind of hope Jay Gatsby had through the movie. The music..while you may view it as undesirable ..I found it a perfect collaboration of the roaring 20's meets today. The point was to bring to life what music then is like today ..what excitement and energy it brought to everyone. You really need to watch the movie again..with an open mind as Bazaar..and a wonderful cast of actors brought from the pages of the Great Gatsby to the big screen

alexander wayland-james

yes! thank you! I mean #5 didn't really bother me as much as the overuse of computerized special effects in general but yes #4! Because by the end of the movie I was sympathizing with Daisy and Tom, understanding their desire to walk away from this mess and try to resume their life anew somewhere else. I mean they have a kid together, and if there's a way to make it work with the original parents, they should give it a shot. And Daisy doesn't attend the funeral? Doesn't admit she was driving? Etc? Well if she did try to clean up the mess, Gatsby's sacrifice would be in vain wouldn't it? At least that's how the movie came off for me.

Kat

I like the older version better because it had more of the 1920's feel. Yes, this movie gives a since of our modern time but also it just didn't feel real. It had WAY too much green-screen, too much of our music today, not enough feel that it was the booming 1920's, that I just couldn't bare it! But, if they could put these characters in the old version, then it would be 100% amazing lol. I love the romance in it, it gives a good feel. And I just dont understand what it said in Daisy's letter from Jay Gatsby. But anyways, It was a good movie.

Aaron

I thought it was beautiful, yes some parts were not up to par but why let it ruin your experience of the beauty that was in this film. Some of the music was off in parts but others were perfect like the snippet of "New York" that Alicia Keys sang. I thoroughly enjoyed Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby. Beautiful, and the hair was pretty amazing, this coming from a hairstylist who was impressed with the technical skill it takes to mold the hair of that era .

Declan P

I personally found the movie very disappointing. The Jazz/Art Deco era is an era i am quite versed in, in fact its the era that studied for my design degree. The music in my opinion discredited the whole feel of the era. Why have people dancing in the style that one would dance to jazz but instead to hip-hop? Whether you are trying to capture a younger audience or not, its not an excuse to take away the most prominent aspect about the era. After all its called the "Jazz Age" for a reason and unfortunately replacing it with hip-hop music doesnt pay homage to the era and the many other facets of it such as Art Deco design and their everyday attire (lounge suits through to black tie). The era was about opulence and for me at least hip-hop doesnt begin to convey that. This all included diminishes the emotion the era should of had on the viewers of the film. I very much compare this movie to the series of Boardwalk Empire as they recreate the era and the emotion that it should bring in perfect essence.

However the architecture along with costume design within the film was pretty much spot on.
I do realise I am quite biased on this subject as i have a lot of love for the era and everything that made it great and in saying that I am sure there are many people who immensely enjoyed the film who are not so immersed into the era as myself.

As for the comment below. I am by no means against the hip-hop genre of music, in fact the majority of my iPod consists of that genre of music. I just dont believe it had any place in this film despite trying to capture a younger/modern audience or not.

John P

Having not read the book and only seeing a theater performance of the book at Sydney's Opera House, this movie was wonderful. Gatsby's insecurities expressed through his repeat use of the words 'old sport' made the character for me along. I didn't even notice Jay-Z in the soundtrack which is how hypnotized I was, some people must really dislike him and that part of the music industry to make it the pinnacle of their discomfort to this film.

Ivan McCreath

Movies are made to entertain!!! Whether or not this movie was historically correct or incorrect is not ever to be the point. It is meant to hit the senses visually, challenge intellect yet also cater for those who have the American Soap Opera mentality. It is not supposed to be real. It is an evening in fantasy. It is a lesson in creating a unique and multistoried atmosphere which is suitable for all intellects. It is a movie that makes you come out of the theatre emotionally affected. How you were affected depends on your 'catch' on the movie. Like it or hate it, it has done it's job if you came out of the theatre wondering what exactly have I just seen!!!??
It is not a movie that I would go and see again because the marvel of the movie is the visual and emotional effect it has on the viewer as a first time experience. To know what was going to happen next would take away the mystery and sometimes overdone excitement that makes this movie what it is…….. an absolutely brilliant piece of no brainer entertainment!!!

derek

i forgot to add, if you have experience in life, then you know this is an amazing, heartfelt, poetic cinematic experience. sound, acting, and mastery of literature with a perfect match of narrative… i am very impressed with this film. it has human emotion if you watch closely.

derek

woman and man, the trap the honor the hope the destruction….

DEE

I was so excited to watch this movie, I wanted to see how they were gonna remake ( which always tend to be horrible *cough* Carrie *cough* *cough*) the original Gatsby which from the way they advertised made it seem extraordinary. I made it about 15-20 minutes into this movie and was totally turned off. It was like someone was making a movie for Jay-Z's album but with a "Gatsby" inspired feel. The music use was out of place and I was officially done when I saw the flappers twerking. This movie may be good for someone whose never read the book or watched the original movie but for those who have this was a just a shiny piece of crap… However I will say Old Sport I did enjoy the cars… and… yes that's it just the cars… Old Sport.

MaryMach-10

Yeah, I really, really disliked a lot about this movie and have to say I pretty much agree wholeheartedly with this critique and probably have even more disdain for it from my own perspective as a design scholar. First of all, the camera work is indeed ridiculous, excessively agitated, and in my opinion, did not enhance the viewing experience in any way. Why it was filmed in 3D and not 2D is beyond me, it's a narrative, not a freaking high-thrill action movie. Visually, it reminded me a lot of another film I despised due to it's loosely anachronistic content, the God-awful "Sophia Copola presents Marie Antoinette"-all flash with absolutely no substance with glaring period-inappropriate costumes and 21st century mannerisms affected by the characters, pretty much just a painfully extended pop music video with a loose Jazz Age theme, and when I say "loose" I mean that nothing in this movie is an accurate interpretation of how people dressed, communicated, spoke, or lived in the year 1922 when the story takes place, and this annoyed me to the point of distraction. The set decor in Jay Gatsby's mansion really irritated me because it wasn't even close to period-accurate, just a mishmash of cliché, ultra-luxe trappings associated with say, rap videos or The Kardashians. The uber-glossy Streamline Moderne style the production designer went with in this was not in vogue until the 1930s and definitely would not have been the go-to decor style Jay Gatsby would have chosen to impress his Old Money friends from East Egg. The costumes-don't even get me started! Any episode of Boardwalk Empire could have served as inspiration on how to successfully interpretation early-mid '20s style using extant garments as inspiration, but for some reason the costume designer for this film chose to go with retro-inspired, reworked Prada runway pieces from the '90s instead of attempting to evoke a legitimately Jazz Age look for the female characters, which would have been 10 times more luxurious and impressive visually. What especially irked me was the low-cut bodices with the boobs pushed out, which even non-costume people probably recall is the polar opposite of the 1920s silhouette with the flat chest and de-emphasis on the bust. Then the use of modern-era music circa 2012 served to totally eradicate any notion in my mind that the events onscreen were taking place in the period 1922-25. Actually, having just checked Wikipedia for what other movies I've seen of Baz Luhrmann, I realize that these are the very same issues I had with "Moulin Rouge," a movie everyone but me appeared to have enjoyed. So in conclusion, my honest opinion of "Great Gatsby" is that for the exorbitant amount of money $105 million, that went into this film, the end product was an abysmal failure from a design historian's and a movie lover's perspective.

Antoine

Go and kill yourself, old sport. AMAZING MOVIE

Michael

I've read the book many times, seen both films several times and will definitely watch again.

I will read your review once!

Jeannie

Couldn't agree more! Your review is spot on, old sport.

Michelle

Just mad that Jay-Z is better than you.

thehumburger

I didn't think the movie was as bad as the reviewer, but I think a lot of his criticisms hit the mark. The juxtaposition of the modern and old was messy, the visuals were catchy at first but quickly became cloying, the writing on the screen was a terrible idea. But it was all draped on a classic story which held up the movie despite its many shortcomings.

First Last

The only think piss poor here was the review. This movie did an amazing job of capturing the feel of the book as you read it, the lavishness, the uncertainty, the facade. There was very little about the movie you accurately criticized you (if I may say: 2 bit hack). The only thing that was sub par was the characters, and this is nothing the director can take blame for since he was stuck with them, and he actually did a good job at representing the utter shallowness of a lot of them. Can't wait for the extended cut!

Calum

The great gatsby was a visually pleasing film that entertained from start to finish. You can tell that a lot of hard work and effort went into this stunning film.

Whocaez

I just saw the 2013 version of this movie, and this was my first exposure to this story…meaning I gad not read it, nor had I seen the 1974 version. I did not know what to expect, other than the fact that from the trailers I had seen for this film last year, something never really looked interesting about it…my spouse on the other hand was really interested, so I got the movie last night and we watched.
My first impression was it was choppy and hard to follow, and really had me bored and nodding off for a little bit.
The story started to get interesting with the whole Willy Wonka themed mystique of J Gatsby and Nick getting a golden ticket…I always love the original Willy Wonka…and to me the story had some great potential, but never having seen the original or read the book, most of the time I struggled to follow along in trying to assess each characters role was.

Ok so the things that really irritated me about this movie may be dumb, but for some reason I had a huge mental problem with, perhaps it is the lack of authenticity, or the inaccuracy…i'm not sure, but here they are in no particular order:

The car, when racing down the road…the engine sounded like a muscle car of the 70's, really? Cars from this era had sputtering sewing machine sounding motors, not 351 Cleveland motors. Also, the way it maneuvered in and about traffic, these old cars were really heavy and did not have this level of agility.
Also, speaking of the cars in the movie, I was annoyed by the horns. I know it may be silly, but for some reason this bugged me, horns on cars in the turn of the century, had those ahhooooga horns.

OK, next…the music! Hip hop and r&b does not and will not ever fit the era of the roaring 20's or any other era except right now. Although i like a lot of the current music, I feel that by-and-large this is a bleak time for music that once it is past, will likely never be recalled, and embedding it into this version will not translate in years to come, making this one of those movies that will simply not reach anyone and be forgotten about.
During the closing credits I saw that Jay-Z was the executive producer, which then explained the awkwardly out of place music backdrop for this film.

The list goes on I am sure, but these are things that to me are annoying I think mostly because it bastardizes the story and intent…regardless of how much the movie spent or earned.

I guess I look at it this way when it comes to being true to the story and the authenticity..do it right or don't do it.
And Fred, people who get caught up n the glitz and glamour tend to get bamboozled…don't mistake earnings with creativity, people can be fooled into spending money for all kinds of nonsense (ie the guy who recently spent almost 2 million for a cartoon rendering of Bea Arthur nude). By the way, your "the fact it made 331 million" is not fact at all.. in "fact" according to IMDB it grossed 144 million to date, and had a budget of 105 million.
What are you going to say next "haters gonna hate"?

I think this version is more about hype, and less about content!

Christina

The framing was actually part of the book, I think it was actually how the book opened up, Nick is in the Midwest probably why the setting was changed since they are no longer in the same area….but Nick is talking to a psychiatrist about how that fake lifestyle messed him up. The movie did a great job, most of it being very close to the book. So before people, like the author of this article, judge this movie please read the book because most of it is very accurate. It makes you sound dumb when things are actually in the book that you think aren't and if you did read it well I don't think you understood the deeper meaning. The only think I did not care for was the soundtrack.

Fred

Those who can't create, ridicule. The fact remains that the film made 331 million dollars and millions of people enjoyed it. One guy enjoyed this article, a bit.

Fred

Those who can't create, ridicule. The fact remains that the film made 331 million dollars and millions of people enjoyed it. One guy enjoyed this article, a bit.

Nancy

Well, all I could think about during the whole movie was how much I liked the 1974 film with Robert Redford, Bruce Dern, Karen Black and Mia Farrow so much more. Their characters were so much more memorable and emotional. But Leonardo's gorgeous face made up for some. Unhappily, I just didn't understand the part of Daisy played by Carey Mulligan. She wasn't a bit whimsical or spaced-out, and seemed uncomfortable and strained when she was supposed to be flighty. Just didn't have that Mia Farrow trademark "flightiness," "cooing" and "whatever" attitude at the end when they were leaving on holiday after the shooting. Carey just stared at the camera making me wonder why won't she do something to make us despise her like we despised Mia's reaction to Nick when they were leaving. Plus I think she's "cute " but not the face (or personality) that would cause such a Gatsby "life-consuming obsession" over all of those years. She was so dull, unmemorable and unemotional. This new film was just too fast and choppy and I couldn't keep my mind focused for one second anyway. Plus I despise when they do that on tv shows too. Why do they do that?? I always hit the remote!

Old sport

Your looking into this too much old sport. The movie is excellent from start to finish. He is writing it in winter because he is looking back at the life of gatsby. Writing and narration at the same time is not even a problem and the soundtrack? That was one of the best things about the movie. Mixing old and new is an art and was pulled off very well. The catchphrase old sport is used a lot but the delivery of the phrase is flawless. I could hear old sport all day and won't be annoyed.

Pedro

Most of this is wrong…and most of the bad things you mentioned are actually the good things about the movie, the over-the-topness, the unfitting-yet-fitting music…learn how to watch movies please.

Rob

I enjoyed your article, old sport, but I have to disagree with most of your criticisms. After reading your article I find that you ignored a lot of the character development as well as a lot of the amazing shots (even if they were too short). After finishing the film the first time I wanted to go back and watch the movie again so that I could catch things I may have not seen or dive deeper into each character's prideful yet emotionally tragic life. That being said, I completely agree with you regarding the choice of music and artists (for the most part). I do really enjoy the Lana del Rey song because I feel it provides the audience an emotional attachment to Gatsby's and Daisy's relationship and their feelings of loss, hope, and despair. However, the Jay Z and Will.I.Am song are misplaced and weak. One, they do not provide a strong "voice" for "hip hop" or the film because, frankly, they do not create "hip hop", they create garbage then CALL IT hip hop, which is not the same or justified. All in all I think the film was unique, ambitious and provided a boundary-less atmosphere that gave the audience that feeling of wishing they grew up in that era.

Luke

I enjoyed this movie so much, it entwines the modern modern music with the rush of '20s life, and in my opinion it did it perfectly. The acting at points was lacking, however, but that doesn't take away the simply brilliant parts of the film. DiCaprio plays the part of Gatsby brilliantly for me, with the his character maintained throughout, I also enjoyed the way the movie seemed to flow so easily, so in that respect, I'd have to dissagree with you in the fact that it doesn't seem to take you away at any point. I'll admit, at the hour and a half mark I fell asleep, (due to a long plane journey) but then I woke up ready to watch the rest, and I am so glad I did. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the film.
Anyway, although the casting of some of the characters was off, the actors did their job well, and I think a poor-written script is the point of any faults.

berit

i'm afraid you totally missed what was actually going on in the movie. you perceived the story as 2 dimensional when, in fact, it was several layers thick. you perceived the characters as static when they were evolving in front of you. and you perceived the characters as distinct when, in fact, they were metaphorical. i suspect you have not had enough life experiences to fully comprehend what this movie was actually about. given time you may come to understand the profound sensitivity that was hidden in plain sight.

Karen

The script was just horribly written, so I don't hold the actors at fault for this piece of garbage any farther than their taking the part after reading what nonsense they would have to work with.
The visuals could have been spectacular except that the viewer didn't get more than a few seconds to take anything in, which made for bewilderment on my part. Why would a movie-maker go to all the expense and time to create these visual wonderments and then cut them up and feed them to the viewer in bite sized pieces?
I wandered in and out of the room at least a dozen times because the lack of any real story line left me bored. I couldn't follow along for the first hour, and I really tried to.
Some of the scenes just didn't work. I'm baffled how the director missed so many scenes that fell flat. It's was as though they threw them in anyway, not caring. Some of the scenes were down right dumb.
It seemed to me that the actors, faced with poor writing and scenes that were idiotic, just tried way too hard to get them to fly, but of course in the end we saw the results- one of the worst movies of all time.

Paul Christian

This movie sucked balls! The soundtrack and sound design for that matter was so distracting that I was pulled out of the story almost every 10 seconds. Anyone who thought Will.i.am was a "bold choice" is a sucker. Go watch Keeping up with the Kardashians…

GOLIAH

f…ing moron. This is a great movie.

Sharon

You should get a life. This movie is perfect.

alex ryushare

I personally think that this remake of the original is much more exciting and makes you so hopeful of everything. I'm not a weirdo or anything but I've went to go see this movie for the seventh time in the theaters. It's haunting, beautiful in every single way and makes you feel like you're there in the moment.
ryushare premium key,

Gg

Horrible horrible film.
Acting-just awful, insincere, completely overdone. Acting students could have done better.
Script-just terrible.  cliched, disjointed, overly simplified, devoid of any depth or subtlety.
Music-embarassing, ridiculous. Making a political statement by adding hip-hop soundtracks to the racist roaring twenties?? Bad idea.

My boyfriend loved this film. I am seriously considering ending our relationship.

Matt

You are not being hard. This movie was a joke. Apart from the gorgeous visuals, Leo Di Caprio's acting was probably the worst I've seen him do, the story went nowhere. For most of the movie, it simply seemed like a remake of Peter Seller's The Party.

Golddiablo3

I have been checking out many of your posts and i can claim pretty nice stuff here. Good job.

Claire

I wouldn't criticize the "old sport". Damn, it's in the book ! Please, read it before you judge what they say in the movie.

Ari

Really? Are you happy now? Okay you just showed us how a desperate man looks like in his free time. What the heck are you writing about? No wonder why nobody likes this site…

DCM

I have no idea where you get these criticisms from. They seem to just be your opinions and not really founded in the movie. Most people hating on this movie just seem to not like Baz Lurhman's visual style or story telling style, or don't understand TGG or don't get what he was trying to achieve.

the only thing I do agree with you on is the framing device is not in the book and really unecesarry. It could've been handled better, but it is there.

Leo did an incredible job as he tends to, I'm not a hyper fan, but he's subtly here with such a well known character was excellent. You need to see it more than once to see all the details. As with any Baz film.

The "old sport" is excessive because Gastby learned that as a phrase to seem posh and part of the "it" crowd. His over use of it points out that he is an imposter, new money, and will never be cool with the hateful spirtful lazy rich that this novel's purpose is to critique. Having Gatsby saying this phrase so much shows his desperation to play the part, and it almost becomes a tick when he starts to lose everything.

The music is brilliant. Not only as a marketing tool, but in line with Baz's vision that we're in another 1920s now. We're back in the boom and bust, with luxury brands that are meaningless, and poverty soaring, but the hollow American Dream of success still lives. Using modern music not only brings in today's audience, but has an artistic flair that simply true to the time music cannot do. Baz is a fan of collages, in my experience, and juxtaposition can tell you so much about yourself when you're viewing something as foriegn to us as the 1920s. Frankly, the soundtrack is brilliant, as well as the score.

The thing I resented the most was recycled moments from Moulin Rouge, which could've been left out or made original to this movie. And Australia was amazing. It's only flaw was it was another movie about white people saving the natives, but it's hardly alone in that failing. I loved it.

DICK

How about a LOST spoiler alert you BAG OF DICKS, old sport.

T

This movie was clearly aimed at kids in High School that are reading the book. The music had nothing to do with the movie and did not fit in whatsoever, and this is from someone who owns many of those songs. The scene where you first see Nick drinking is one of the worst scenes I have ever scene in a movie. The driving sequences looked entirely fake and the parties were even worse. The only people who liked this must be extreme Caprio fans because I hated him in this and he is one of my favorite actors. As for people defending the director saying it's his style to make movies like this… then he's an idiot and should immediately change. Worst major blockbuster of the decade so far.

adewale

Its a classic…………baz lurmann doesn't do much but when he does he does well. Old sport.

Kevin

Brilliant Movie!! Captured some traits of the human behavior known to the few of us, and perhaps forever blinded to people like this reviewer. Di Caprio acting was top notch, he was a brilliant Gatsby, and the music captured the emotion of the scenes perfectly.
10/10

Charlie

The music really didn't work, the whole film felt like it was trying to hard to be different. I thought that Lana Del Rey's memory cue for Daisy was way off for the character of Daisy. Daisy is beautiful and charming, but also fickle, shallow, bored, and sardonic how did the memory cue apply to Daisy?

MaryBeton

Though Fitzgerald could not have known it, The Great Gatsby was written as much for our time as for his (perhaps even more). The glam of the book existed in his time but certainly not to the extent that it does today. We have become a nation that idolizes glam. We watch the glamorous lives of others on 52" screens from our living rooms after returning from the "Valley of Ashes" under the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. We do this every single day waiting for some Gatsby to deliver us from the valley. The irony is that Gatsby was an everyman, no white knight on a white horse. He too, was waiting for someone to deliver him from the valley; Daisy just couldn't deliver. In Lurhman's choices for the 2013 version of the novel, he honored Fitzgerald. He understood that the story is timeless and resisted the urge to create yet another dull adaptation. He made a movie that was raucous. He made a movie that was romantic and sexy. And he made a tragic movie that recognized that no matter what our station in life, we are all just waiting to be delivered from the "Valley of Ashes" just as Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, and even poor, pitiful Myrtle Wilson hoped to be.

Musictomyears5

Obviously, everyone has their own opinions of the movie. I personally liked Luhrmann's approach. Sure it was different, but it was entertaining, and I think that was his main goal. He was the director so it's his own vision that he wanted to create.

George

The movie was quite good. It would've been perfect if the music and dancing had been done according to the period. The modern music definitely took away from the movie.

Genesis

I think you are being a bit harsh towards Luhrmann's methods. honestly, im sure he was aware that gatsby was a tragedy, but what would you have liked to see? Everyone weeping throughout the entire movie ? Was Jay supposed to seem depressed from the start , as though he knew of his fate? the thing that grabs me about gatsby is not only that hes a symbol for a beautiful tragedy, but why he is a tragedy! And that is because he is naive and no matter what he does, his heart has already taken him to a place that has never existed in the first place ! It is for this reason that his naive heart can never last and for this reason that the comedy in the beginning may not have been necessary but , it makes it easier for the audience to fall in love with jay gatsby and feel his pain when he died a naive soul. without this necessity, gatsby would be but another forbidden love story ruled out by most.

F.

Stop reading this ridiculous criticisms (frankly, pretty amateur) and go watch the movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is flawless as someone else pointed out, and the movie itself is not bad as they talk here.

Meehoney

The only thing I remotely appreciated about having seen this ridiculous adaptation of Fitzgerald's book was that I waited to view it at the dollar theater. Obviously, any ignorant bafoon who enjoyed this piece if garbage has never read the book. What an insult to Fitzgerald.

Sir John Alfred Winslow the third

The Great Gatsby was one of the best movies I've seen year. DiCaprio is flawless as Gatsby
and the effects were really good. Stop ripping into it and watch it you stupid pricks.

Sir John Alfred Winslow the third

The Great Gatsby was one of the best movies I've seen year. DiCaprio is flawless as Gatsby
and the effects were really good. Stop ripping into it and watch it you stupid pricks.

harriet craig

This was the most poorly written piece of dreck I think I've ever seen. I go to maybe 2 movies a year (I actually liked Iron Man) but went to see this because I love art deco everything, and I thought it might even be intelligent. There are no characters and the characters have no dialogue. I laughed out loud several times because the script was so ridiculously bad (it's my birthday)…..and the old-sport thing was just…weird….I finally saw this in the $2 movie house and it was worth the $2 I guess, in a so-bad-its-good kinda way. The acting was totally wooden, the male characters lacking testosterone, the female characters lacking even beauty, maybe these women are pretty and pretty vacuous at the same time….gosh, go back and watch "Cabaret" for some visuals and star power, and maybe reruns of Naked City or Route 66 or Dr. Kildare for some great dialogue, those old black & white shows have more class than anybody who's responsible for this party, it's vapidity on steroids, but maybe that's the point, there isn't one

MikeKulls

This review is spot on. The movie was ridiculous, over indulgent and just dragged on and on.

Seriously!?!?!

What the ffff are you smoking? This was one of the best movies I'd seen in such a long time! The party scenes made me want to jump up and dance. Gatsby throwing shirts down to Daisy made me want to spin around and run outside. I loved this movie. Yes, the "old sport' was too much, but I've read the book and it's all the same. This critic is full of it and makes me want to have this article taken down. There is all a reason for every bit of this movie. The scene where Daisy kills Tom's mistress was perfect. The best part. Do some research!!!!!!

Seriously!?!?!

What the ffff are you smoking? This was one of the best movies I'd seen in such a long time! The party scenes made me want to jump up and dance. Gatsby throwing shirts down to Daisy made me want to spin around and run outside. I loved this movie. Yes, the "old sport' was too much, but I've read the book and it's all the same. This critic is full of it and makes me want to have this article taken down. There is all a reason for every bit of this movie. The scene where Daisy kills Tom's mistress was perfect. The best part. Do some research!!!!!!

Roger McCook

I'm not sure what I think of the movie (or the original writing) but I think it is thought provoking. However, given that, I'm afraid that most reviews, including this one, are so absurd that they are not worthy of consideration. Even the rambling, oh-so-sophisticated cliff notes and other reviews don't do the story justice. The story just is. And it is good. All the comments about it, including these comments, suck

joão jesus

Catch phrase to understand you need to know more than I ….. Catch phrase
because if you do not understand more than Catch phrase ……
never will understand in its complexity.
I think so.

Michaela

I personally think that this remake of the original is much more exciting and makes you so hopeful of everything. I'm not a weirdo or anything but I've went to go see this movie for the seventh time in the theaters. It's haunting, beautiful in every single way and makes you feel like you're there in the moment. (;

Michaela

I personally think that this remake of the original is much more exciting and makes you so hopeful of everything. I'm not a weirdo or anything but I've went to go see this movie for the seventh time in the theaters. It's haunting, beautiful in every single way and makes you feel like you're there in the moment. (;

Michaela

I personally think that this remake of the original is much more exciting and makes you so hopeful of everything. I'm not a weirdo or anything but I've went to go see this movie for the seventh time in the theaters. It's haunting, beautiful in every single way and makes you feel like you're there in the moment. (;

Michaela

I personally think that this remake of the original is much more exciting and makes you so hopeful of everything. I'm not a weirdo or anything but I've went to go see this movie for the seventh time in the theaters. It's haunting, beautiful in every single way and makes you feel like you're there in the moment. (;

Jordan

Loved the bit about Baz utilising a bunch of razzmatazz instead of connecting with the story, not happy with your Lana Del Rey cheap shot however. I think your criticism, particularly the "old sport" and camera work scrutniy's are a bit anal. I'm also gaugig you were a little pessimisstic coming into this film with your previous experiences with Baz's films. I am not defending him, I think he certainly could have followed the book better, not used as many modern elements, developed deeper characters and really engaged Carraway with the audience more. In terms of McGuire and DiCaprio, I thought they did phenomenal with the roles and script they were given. The Australian actor was also very good.

Gary

Not bad, Old sport.

Emma

Damn Lana Del Rey? Mr, Im going to hunt you down and make you take back what you wrote. I'll shock your testicles,break your legs and burn down your house

greatsajby

When you italicize the name of a novel instead of placing quotes around it, and when you stop saying "amount" when you really mean "number," then I'll take you seriously.

I quite liked it

I think Mr Taylor doesn't really know what he's talking about.
I went to see it with a friend who happens to be studying media and communications and she told me that the cutting style of the film is most likely a homage to the way films were cut in the 1920's…

Travis

I had no problem with the Lana del Rey song, although I realize she's not to everyone's taste, but I completely agree about the poorly inserted dubsteppy music that they decided to play in lieu of some of the actual music you'd hear at a 20's jazz party. You get the impression that Luhrmann is trying to appeal to the 10th graders that are reading this book in their English class, and the attempt reminds me of when Doctor Evil tries to look 'hip' and dances the Macarena.

da.is.y.

I have not read the book (there, I said it) and for me the 'Old Sport' catchphrase was indeed annoying. I believe that a movie is a completely different artistic entity from a book, it should have its own life, not just a simple personification of some characters. The movie should convince me almost as much as the book. This rarely happens, sadly, as most movies tend to 'miss' something. So, I don;t know, that fact that "it did the book justice" as some of the commenters said does not convince me that over-using the phrase "Old Sport" was necessary. It might sound OK in the book (reading it in your head) but it the movie it looked forced, or at least Leo DiCaprio saying it looked extremely forced. Otherwise, I wouldn't describe it as a bad movie, but honestly DiCaprio was a bit of a dissapointment for me..

Kj

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel the "old sport" catchphrase was 100% necessary. The cinematography was fantastic and felt it did the book justice. The soundtrack was brilliant and really helped me connect with 1920's life. I also thought the writing on the screen was good as well. The writing on the screen keeps the link between a fantastic novel and the movie.

Andre

But on a positive note I have to say I liked the original approach they did on the 20's I mean made me feel more close more familiar with the 20's and not see it as a distant era like in all other movies, I liked this fresh perspective, basically thats all I liked eventhou I see many criticism about that.

Andre

What can I say? I went to see it yesterday bcuz Di Caprio movies are generally nice, but was simply one of the worst movies ever. Yeah sure good images good soundtrack I personally liked the hip hop touch bringing something different to the 20's depicture.

Apart from that is a zero in almost all aspects, characters behaviour almost never makes sense, you wont create any attachment to any character (probably the first movie with no good guys or bad guys I saw). The relevant part of the story could be told in 1 line. Basically everything makes no sense or has an important meaning, and you will be waiting till the end expecting for something interesting to happen, something that really gives some deep meaning to all that, or at least the traditional "twist!" but it never happens! its just a pointless story with no interest no substance whatsoever just a big hand full of nothing wrapped in shiny paper from beggining to end. Im really shocked about some reactions here.

About things like "old sport" yeah its a detail, an annoying one but a detail, it always sounded very unnatural and ridiculous.

Rosa

I love the novel. I truly believe that anyone who does not enjoy the film is a person who does not really understand the novel. Gatsby is anything but empty inside, as you point out. He has put forth every effort to be with Daisy and is willing to risk everything for her. However, Daisy is too stupid to realize that Tom is a dick and Gatsby is her soul mate. Also, Drew Taylor – you're an idiot. Absolute idiot. Gatsby says "old sport" all the time in the novel. ALL THE TIME. The repetition in the film is necessary because it's part of the book. It's like making a version of Jurassic Park where they genetically engineer ducks.

Rosa

I felt the hip-hop was a nice touch. In an interview somewhere, Luhrmann said he'd decided to go with hip-hop so people felt as if they couldn't understand the movie more, relate to it almost – I can't remember exactly what he said. But I agree that having Nick narrate the movie while being treated for alcoholism was just a bad move. Apart from that, I thought it was actually pretty good.

Alaina

I am a huge fan of the book! As for the film, I absolutely loved the cinematography and thought the costume design was on point. But, I have to agree with most of what Drew Taylor has stated on his review. The characters were poorly developed and seemingly very vapid . And the soundtrack….was the most ridiculous part of the movie….HORRIBLE! For those of you who aren't familiar with the golden age of jazz, hip hop didn't exist then and it ruined the entire movie for me!

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Mel

I was hesitant about seeing this movie due to mixed reviews. But I absolutely loved every second of it!!!! I can't believe it has any bad reviews at all. I had no idea what the great gatsby was about nor have I read the books. One of my all time favourites defiantly a must see!!! Well done baz.

Gaby

this movie was great, the camera use was fantastic, better than most movies. It had a nice layout as well that really helped immerse you into the experience.

Andrea

I loved the modern music in the dance parties it was really clever and fresh

Addison

Please read the book. People trust you, and you're misleading them.

Mark P

Very valid points. The movie was a mess and fails to materialize because of the poor directing. Another case of style over substance.

x

A) Read the book.
B) Watch all of Luhrmann's filmography and maybe you'll understand why he filmed the film the way he did – every director has an MO!
C) Look up MO if you're too dense to know what it means.
D) PLEASE watch interviews with Baz and the cast where they explain exactly why the choice of soundtrack was not only amazingly clever, but why it meshed so well with the movie.
E) If you really have read the book like you claim to, you'll understand that F. Scott Fitzgerald's use of weather is a major motif (look this word up too if you're unsure) in The Great Gatsby and Luhrmann used this as the one of the main features in the framing device to highlight Nick's state of mine (cold weather indicates isolation, sadness, etc…) – just as Fitzgerald did.
F) OF COURSE GATSBY WOULD HAVE A HINT OF A SOUTHERN ACCENT – HE WAS FROM THE SOUTH YOU FOOLS. And like others have also highlighted, Gatsby uttered 'old sport' just as many times in the book as he did in the film.

Most of you are cretins, including the person who wrote this 'review' and who, by the way, has almost certainly not read the book.

Kate

I disagree with this article, almost completely. I really enjoyed the film. I have not yet read the book (I honestly did want to before seeing the film but didn't) , I went with my sister who has studied it a lot and enjoyed the film just as much if not more than me. Everyone who complains about the soundtrack comes across as really close minded to me. I could go on and explain why but I can't really be bothered, so I won't. Also it would probably get boring.

Charlie

Evangeline go kill yourself bitch. Talking shit for no reason. You're probably a teenager

Charlie

Fuck all you haters taking shit about a good movie and the soundtrack! You obviously don't understand that the world we live in today isn't the same then back than. Get over it!

shirley Martins

Redford`s Gatsby seems to be ''more real''. Those theatrical party scenes sounded to me exagerated, making us forgeting the characters`drama. Historica context is away most of the time.

Watched this on 7h June 2013 in Brazil.

jarek

i disagree with everything you have writen, Drew Taylor.

Joe

I felt that there were many good aspects of the movie, but a few flaws. I will always love the 1974 version, and while the 2013 Gatsby it is at times a big departure from the novel, I think it the structure works for a movie adaptation. "Old sport" was Gatsby's catchphrase and something he said over and over, and is accurate to the novel.
Music:
I was skeptical at first of the soundtrack, but when I actually saw the movie and was re-aquainted with Baz Luhrmann's style, it fit very well. It would not have worked with a Merchant/Ivory film, but fits Luhrmann's faced paced, eclectic style. Also Lana Del Ray's "Young and Beautiful" was amazingly haunting and heartbreaking. The big party scene was unforgettable.
Plot & Characters:
Carraway in a mental institution? This is where I cringed. It didn't happen in the book and really added nothing to the movie plot. Okay, I can see the director wanted to show how Nick was traumatized by the events, but this was a stretch and was awkward. Nick Carraway's voiceover was good, but at times revealed so much that it became too much at times. At one point he spoon feeds the audience (I paraphrase) "should I help Gatsby meet my cousin Daisy, a married woman?" Tobey Maguire gave a great performance and was a good Nick. DiCaprio was great as Gatsby, but what was up with that accent? At times it had a southern twang, a pinch of mid-western, a dash of New York? Gatsby learned how to dress, act, and speak, so was the changing accent intentional on the director's part to make Gatsby seem like he was faking an upper-class accent? What I do love about this movie is that we get to see Gatsby's background story, which was true to the novel. His character is well developed in the movie. Tom was spot on too, brutish and racist as in the novel. Jordan really had no role in the movie. I found it interesting that she was taller than Nick, almost as if he were literally "in over his head," mingling with high society.
Visuals:
Yeah, the movie was heavily reliant on CGI, and things were exaggerated at times, but the visuals and cinematography were absolutely beautiful. The 3D was not distracting at all, it was perfect. The quick and dizzying shots fit really well with the craziness of the 1920s Jazz Age. Luhrmann really captured the spirit of The Great Gatsby. That is the most important thing in the end. And I heard sales of The Great Gatsby novel have gone up. A new generation will be introduced to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and that is a good thing.

Evangeline

The accent drove me INSANE. It wasn't constant and I wanted to hurt myself after about the 5th time he said "old sport." I'm usually a fan of DiCaprio but not this time. Plus Jordan didn't have the same role in the movie as she did in the book. It makes me wonder why they even bothered putting her in there if she had no functional role! I went to go see the movie with my school and I decided to share my opinion on the characters with my peers: I hate each and every one of them. They're all shallow, stupid, and just despicable. But they're supposed to be. I actually thought it was funny how almost my entire class supported Nick as the innocent person in the book/movie but honestly, I think that he's the one who screws everyone over! Anyway. Just one more complaint about the movie. When "Nick" is describing fellow characters, he drives me CRAZY. "Yaddayaddayadda, his name was….(PAUSE) Gatsby." And that would have been okay if he didn't do it every. Damn. Time.

I'm done now.

Kathy

Your review was spot on! I thought I had walked in on the ADHD version of the film with the frenetic editing. The 3D was a distraction, and I finally took off the glasses because I preferred a little out-of-focus to getting motion sickness. The film felt like an elaborate 21st costume party. Nothing about it was authentic from the time period to the NY setting or accents (I am a New Yorker). The comments in this review complain that Gatsby didn't say, "Old Sport" but kept saying, "Old Spor" – this may have been DiCaprio's poor attempt at a New York accent. His accent was all over the place – it almost sounded southern at one point. I think he is a brilliant Actor, but IMHO this was not his finest moment. In fact, I think all the acting was upstaged by wackiness, crassness, lack of authenticity (time period, accents, obvious use of CGI in a drama, etc.), feverish editing and poor 3D.

Allie

Wow… I'm an English teacher and was very critical of the film going in; however, I think the cast did an excellent job of capturing each character's true identity. The characters were quite exaggerated, which is crucial for some people to understand fitzgeralds prose (since none of us lived through the jazz age and may not be aware of his style).

Dimitar

This was the most ridiculous article I have read in a while. Please before you write an article full of hate and BS go first and read the book a see how magnificent the characters are build and the transaction from the book to the big screen is perfect.

Chelsea

This article is clearly written by someone as one-dimensional as the characters are said to be. Insulting the use of repetition? Repetition is a technique used to give certain things meaning or significance, there is no way you can say repetitively showing the oculist billboard was unnecessary it served a purpose to the film. And when you said "Luhrmann chooses to cut around to various conversations going on at the table, so quickly that you’re never able to latch onto any part of the conversation," that was the purpose of the shot, it was supposed to give you the impression of the types of conversation and the gossipy nature of the dinner table conversation. The author of this article clearly has no idea about how to interpret film, what a joke.

a

a very pretentious article, and the claim that the personalities are one dimensional is quite laughable. It appears as though the author of this run of the mill list, made to entertain the mindless mob, hasn't quite understood how utterly human the characters are with all their flaws and insecurities, hiding behind ideals, memories and other forms of social shells.

Darawan

This was the most ridiculous article I have read in a while just like Daniel has! What is wrong with you? Those things that you count in when you are talking about the tempo in which he cuts the scenes at the dinner table? The fast tempo is good, and if you can't catch up… Then you shouldn't be watching movies, and you certainly shouldn't be commenting them!

Daniel

This is the most ridiculous article I have read in a very long time.

The only reason you disliked this movie was because of Baz and in your bias you didn't care to look to the other actors and aspects using an unbias vision or a critical viewpoint. Shame on you, old sport.

Perhaps you should consider changing the title to "5 things I didn't like about Baz Luhrmann… with examples from the Great Gatsby and other works that are totally unrelated".

First of all, you are a fool for hinting a comparison between this movie and LOST. It does not matter that "old sport" isn't initially a catchphrase, because Fitzgerald was the person to make it one. Indeed, it is Gatsby's catchphrase. With Baz stressing this phrase by using the repetition a sense of character development is created throughout the movie: Gatsby learning the phrase and using it later on in his life. In fact, the phrase is a two-word summary of the entire character, partly symbolizing The American Dream. You can compare it to Holden Caulfield's use of the word "old" every time in a sentence. Repetition is essential, especially in a motion picture in which many people don't pay enough attention to these specifics.

Secondly, I don't really understand your argument on the visuals. Your argumentation is personal and I think you either like the over-dramatic effects of Luhrmann or you just don't. Same goes for the 3D effects. I quite liked it with all the pieces of texts flying off the screen, you obviously didn't.

Third of all, you are totally off point on the music. Clearly, you haven't understood the effect songs like "No Church in the Wild" and "Young & Beautiful" create. They make the narrative relatable to the audience now. It's a nifty technique used primarily in 'historical' dramas (old fashioned stuff made fashionable once again). The Great Gatsby isn't a documentary, old sport.

Finally, I'd like to just add that I completely agree with Sydney.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about…. old sport.

Old Sport.

You damn well hit the nail on the head. Watched it yesterday & whole-heartedly agree with you. The rap music absolutely flopped, imho.

REDApple

This movie is basically Moulin Rouge all over again, the same pseudo-artistic bullshit that just tries too much to be strange but in the end is just obnoxious, the writing is awful, the screenplay is horrible, the actors are constrained and underused, the tone is so unstable that is risible, and even worse, just like dear old Moulin crapfest, is bound to gather a following of hipsters.
This shit is what happens when you take a Breakfast at Tiffany's-style premise and trade its timeless charm for some sort of Zooey Deschanel-trademark "quirkyness", it just makes stuff idiotic and insipid.

Stu

I walked out of the cinema for all 5 reasons mentioned. You missed a doozy tho, some of the worst ADR I have ever seen in a Hollywood film. In the first car trip in the yellow coupe, nothing lined up. Just bad editing all round. It was a shocker even if it was supposed to be "artistic" it missed the soooooo missed the mark. On the list of worst movies of all time. Old sport or Old spor as it was mispronounced or badly there is no place for repeated "catch phrases" including the scene where it was said no less than 7 times. Wow just give it a miss.

Stu

I walked out of the cinema for all 5 reasons mentioned. You missed a doozy tho, some of the worst ADR I have ever seen in a Hollywood film. In the first car trip in the yellow coupe, nothing lined up. Just bad editing all round. It was a shocker even if it was supposed to be "artistic" it missed the soooooo missed the mark. On the list of worst movies of all time. Old sport or Old spor as it was mispronounced or badly there is no place for repeated "catch phrases" including the scene where it was said no less than 7 times. Wow just give it a miss.

Stu

I walked out of the cinema for all 5 reasons mentioned. You missed a doozy tho, some of the worst ADR I have ever seen in a Hollywood film. In the first car trip in the yellow coupe, nothing lined up. Just bad editing all round. It was a shocker even if it was supposed to be "artistic" it missed the soooooo missed the mark. On the list of worst movies of all time. Old sport or Old spor as it was mispronounced or badly there is no place for repeated "catch phrases" including the scene where it was said no less than 7 times. Wow just give it a miss.

Adam James

A chunky block of icing desperately needing a thin layer of cake. Fitzgerald wrote about a world with which most of us were never destined to be familiar, and this adaption glues the cover to the escutcheon.

Sydney

Ok what the actual F***! This might be the worst review I've ever read. If you've read the book (which you say you have, but I doubt it based on your lack of insight) you would know that "old sport" IS a catchphrase and the amount it was used was necessary. All the flashiness and humor was used to show what it was like to party in the 20's. The repetition was used to convey important themes that were in the book that you wouldn't pick up on as easily in the movie otherwise. The story is a tragedy, I'll give you that; however, are you now saying that every scene in a tragedy has to be sad now? If the audience doesn't know the ending, which is how a story is supposed to be told by the way, you would want them to believe that Daisy and Jay would've made a wonderful couple. You want the audience to see a fun scene with them and say "wow they are so cute together" not see a weird sad version of the scene of them getting to know each other (which isn't how the book was written might I add) so they couldnt care less what happens and the story goes no where. I mean that might actually be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You complained that there are upbeat scenes in a tragedy! Haha wow! You are really dumb or something. There are even happy scenes in Romeo and Juliet. That is what makes it tragic at the end! I also don't even understand your complaint about Toby McGuire taking the lead. He IS the lead. He narrates the story in the book and it is all from his point of view. I do agree that the mental ward was kind of weird, but DeCaprio didn't play the lead character. The story is about Nick Carraway remembering his experience back east one summer when he met Jay Gatsby. So I guess you are just really stupid or pretentious (or most likely both) but either way you have no business writing a review because you don't know what you are talking about…at all.

Nan

I completely agree with Polina. Baz did as well of a job with the music as he did with Romeo + Juliet. The Jay Z song was well placed and represented the over indulgence of alcohol, money and partying in the 20s. Young and Beautiful playing throughout the movie speaks to Daisy's character and Gatsby's supposed love for her. Baz did this with Romeo+Juliet and it was directed at the teenyboppers. I was in high school when it came out and loved the soundtrack and the movie. It made me want to read the book. With the release of this movie, many teenyboppers will be interested in the novel and go out to pick up this great piece of literature. Lastly, bash this movie all you want, but Leo has Gatsby DOWN. Read the novel again, he does a much better job than Redford.

Nan

I completely agree with Polina. Baz did as well of a job with the music as he did with Romeo + Juliet. The Jay Z song was well placed and represented the over indulgence of alcohol, money and partying in the 20s. Young and Beautiful playing throughout the movie speaks to Daisy's character and Gatsby's supposed love for her. Baz did this with Romeo+Juliet and it was directed at the teenyboppers. I was in high school when it came out and loved the soundtrack and the movie. It made me want to read the book. With the release of this movie, many teenyboppers will be interested in the novel and go out to pick up this great piece of literature. Lastly, bash this movie all you want, but Leo has Gatsby DOWN. Read the novel again, he does a much better job than Redford.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

KJZ

The movie was a work of art, truly enjoyed it. This review is very narrow and pointless to how it bring out the most ridiculous situations. I mean whoever wrote this garbage most likely had a bad day or just didn't get enough sleep. Go watch the movie and enjoy the colorful artwork.

Jaaa

To be honest, I didn't find the book interesting on my first read (so I have to re-read it again hopefully soon!), but I think you're being too hard on it. I have to agree on what you said about the editing part, though.

Charley

No, I honestly think you're being too hard on it. It was wonderful, the parties, the actors, the imagery, the story, everything.

Charlotte

He didn't even say 'Old Sport'… He said 'Old Spor' without the 't', it grated me every time! Spot on article, another thing was the repeated scenes with the roaring, ridiculously fast cars. Far cry from the subtlety of the novel.

Marissa

Spot on, Old Sport.

Polina

ugh you're so wrong and don't get what baz was trying to accomplish stylistically at all. for example, the will.i.am song was perfect. it was just one of many devices that tied the movie back to present day and made it more relatable, which is exactly what he did in romeo and juliet, for example. he made a stuffy and overdone shakespearian play relatable. it was gorgeous, and you're completely off point, old sport.

Michael M.

Why this film is taken seriously is beyond me. It's a hyper-stylized piece of commercialized trash solely produced for profitability, bitches, and seizure-prone teenyboppers.

David C.

Not having read the book before, or seen any incarnation of it… I can safely say while seeing this movie that I have decided to have a drinking game with friends over.. for every time anybody says "Old Sport" it's gonna be bottoms up!!!… I wonder if this movie can cause alcohol poisoning from the repeated use of that term?? lol

David Jordan

That movie was utterly ridiculous and was saved only by F. Scott Fitzgerald's plot and masterfully poetic lines that were, fortunately, quoted straight from the book. DiCapprio had some very good moments, but could never find the vocal pitch, rhythm or tone to deliver his very repeated and very necessary line, "Old sport" smoothly, convincingly or effectively. It sounded like a contrived struggle every time.
Mulligan was not nearly pretty enough to play Daisy and sell the plot. Jay Gatsby built, did all this, and suffered for her? You must be kidding?
Maguire was a saving grace as Nick Carraway. He was very convincing and natural, in a movie that was so unnatural and unconvincing in its presentation that it was difficult not to walk out.
The rap music conflicted terribly roaring twenty's theme. That cheap shot to capitalize on modern commercialism very lowest common denominator of an uneducated audience is an insult to someone of average intelligence.
The editing was a total mess, as was the movie. The '74 version with Mia Farrow was far more believable and did better justice to the novel. Rent it and watch how seamlessly Robert Redford, as Gatsby, delivers his lines. And, note how, Mia Farrow, as Daisy, exudes a persona that is far more worthy of driving a man to greatness, than Mulligan.
The 1974 movie was not a masterpiece in its own right, but it is compared to The Great Gatsby released this year.

Kate

I love this book. I love Moulin Rouge. This movie, while visually captivating, was a complete let down. Toby McGuire gave nothing to Nick Carraway as a character – it may have been the bad acting, the bad self-tanner or the bad dancing – I'm not about it. Wish I could've said differently.

Danielle

I'm curious if the author of this article actually read the book. Empty on the inside, beauty on the outside is a main theme.

J S

I was thinking about taking my mom to this movie. Thank God I took my girlfriend instead. I felt like I was stoned and on the whirling Tea Cup ride at Disney World for the first half…The soundtrack made no fucking sense. "H to the Izzo" is a 5 year old song and Jay Z thought it would fit in beautifully in one of the scenes along with a bunch of other cut up hip hop tracks. Didnt work for me at all. Was everyone getting lit while producing this?

Mr. Astaire

Spot on. Cringe-worthy movie

Fairfax

Wow. We must have seen a different movie. I felt all the points made above only bolstered the ideas in Gatsby. Gotta let go of the shoulds and sit back and enjoy a different vision. If you didn't know the source material how would you view the movie? Its a fine film done by a visionary director.

Glass

My God, ThePlaylist truly got what they wanted out of this article: lazy, negative writing that generated 54 comments and 4 days of pretty solid traffic. We (the public) suck that way.

Leni

I thought the mix of humour and tragedy were perfect. This is what the book was about, as well as the "old sport". It was repeated in the book, so to leave it out or even minimized would be to escape the point of the novel. And the modern music is Baz's style, like with Romeo and Juliet. The end dragged on for me a little, but I loved it overall.

Rory

This movie was a relatively accurate adaptation of the novel though. Leo's accent fine not the best, but Gatsby says it after every sentence in the book when he's talking to someone other than Daisy. Redford's "casual" saying isn't accurate, he's too cool to be Gatsby, Gatsby really isn't cool, he only had one motivation… Being win Daisy… When he us frantic when Daisy hasn't arrived 5 minutes early, that's exactly what happens in the book, he freaks out and she shows up, then he leaves out the back door when Nick answers the door and he reappears at the front door soaking wet, as depicted in the film. You're not giving the movie the credit it is owed in a sense of its accuracy. About 95% of the lines in the movie were taken directly out of the book and the actions. The flare was embarrassing, and don't even mention the shameful Jay-z songs, but other than that acting wise it was a pretty good movie, editing I agree wasn't up to par and the 3D was an unnecessary money grab

joey

This is a really bad article.

J. Gatsby

You have your head in your ass, Old Sport. The movie was good, the music was shit, end of story.

Will

I thought it was a great movie. Made me rethink a lot of things. But I suppose every one has an opinion.

DG

This movie was terrible. The whole first hour I kept thinking, this isn't good but at least it's not terrible. But then it became terrible. I don't know if I could pin point exactly when, but it was probably whenever I realized that the script would truly never move past voice-over as the only way to move the story forward. It also might have during the 'words coming out of the book and filling the sky' sequence. It seems like a lot f people enjoyed the flashiness or whatever and that's their defemse for it and while that's all fine and well it just wasn't cinema to me, it was just a really long music video. Joel Edgerton was ok though

Javipepo

You could not describe it better. I watchedit last night and I could not agree with you more!!!!

take 2

Think this article is hilarious. And as for all these angry comments below, outraged at Playlist presumably being pretentious and not giving this film a chance, well read this review: littlewhitelies.co.uk/theatrical-reviews/the-great-gatsby-23776.
LWL always gives really thought out, interesting and unbiased reviews. Think they nailed this. And they hated the film too. Oops.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

You guys have your head in your ass. This film was brilliant.

Tinsel & Tine

I agree with "The Playlist" on all accounts. I also feel the 1974 version was such a perfect adaptation of the novel, that a remake should never have been attempted.

I do hate the badly placed comedy in this new version. The scene where Nick invites Daisy for tea at Jay's request – Leonardo DiCaprio is made to play the moment with far too much humor, as Jay loses his nerve, departing in the rain and coming back to the door soaking wet. Where Robert Redford plays his anticipation and nervousness with such subtly; his belief that Daisy won't show even though it's still 5 minutes before her expected arrival, is endearingly humorous, but not played for laughs. And when it comes to throwing around his catch phrase "Ol' Sport", DiCaprio does lay on it annoyingly, with a horrible accent, where Redford throws it in casually, with cultured diction, so much so that when Tom Buchanan (1974 Bruce Dern) challenges him on the "endearment", you can believe it's become so much a part of the invention of Jay Gatsby, that he's unaware of its frequent use.

matt

did not care for the framing device either, although I can understand why he would want that there, so that it gives a reason for Caraway's narration. he could have used a different framing device though.

jepressman

Oh dear, Playlist thinks The Great Gatsby is shallow and unworthy. Well isn't that too bad.

larry hands

I enjoyed it for the most part. I did not get the beginning of the movie. It was very odd. If Nick Carraway was telling the story he should have been older and not in the insane asylum.nice site onsaleking .com ,They are usually cheaper than retail stores and their shipping is fast ,Never had any problems with them. good price,.good quality,warm service

Jordan

For the cute-meet between Gatsby and Daisy that was written in the book and wasn't Luhrmanns idea. I agree the framing device with the doctor was ridiculous and the story should have just been Nick writing about the man he met named Gatsby. Did anyone else think the faces Tobey M. "Nick" was making weren't great? His expressions of wonder were kinda funny/weird. I loved Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and I think Carey Mulligan did a good job but Daisy is a weak character.

Kiel

Regarding the framing device, I think it was a good idea. Don't forget that the novel is told in first person, with Nick being the narrator. I think Luhrmann wanted to pose the same question with the film as Fitzgerald does with his novel – who is the main character? Is it Nick or Gatsby? The story is obviously about Gatsby, not about Nick. This brings out a central idea raised by the novel – is Nick just being used by Gatsby to get what he wants? Is Nick used to tell Gatsby's story just as the rich use everybody and anybody to achieve their goals?

Regarding the words on the screen, I think it was meant as a kind of celebration of the novel itself. For better or worse, the star of the fim is Fitzgerald's novel.

My main issue with the film is that its stylistic elements are so big and bombastic, they make the story seem trivial in comparison. Like the scene in the apartment in New York when Gatsby pressures Daisy to tell Tom she never loved him. This should have been the key scene in the film, but instead it feels relatively minor.

Benutty

surprise surprise Playlist thinks Gatsby is hollow and Upstream Color is film of the year!!!!!! Embarrassing.

Miss Chloe

To those who would like a non-snarky, non-bitchy review of The Great Gatsby, check out my new movie review blog, Movie Myriad: http://moviemyriad.blogspot.com/. This link is not a scam or a chain letter, it is for real. Come and enjoy!

Steve

Even though the article mentions it briefly, the greatest sin Luhrmann commits is ignoring the major themes of the novel. Lavish parties and fame are things to admire (and aspire to) in Luhrmann's movie, while Fitzgerald illustrated that such extravagance only leads to tragedy. And the vehicular manslaughter is used as more of a plot device than a reflection on the recklessness of the entitled and its effects on the lower classes. Considering the world today, Luhrmann completely wasted the opportunity to comment on our current economy.

dee

I enjoyed it for the most part. I did not get the beginning of the movie. It was very odd. If Nick Carraway was telling the story he should have been older and not in the insane asylum.

Marisa

Im going to pass on this one, rotten tomatos gave it a rotten tomato too

GREEN LIGHT

Reading this article is like listening to someone bitch about their boyfriend, but instead of just saying "we're not right for each other", they go on and on with "I hate the way his jaw clicks when he eats, I hate how slow he drives, I hate that he laughs way too loud in public". This movie is great for what it set out to be. The biggest question is DO YOU LIKE THESE KINDS OF MOVIES, and you obviously don't, so this is just a useless blog bitchfest about "Whaaa, I hate the way he says 'old sport' all the time, I hate the way there's text on the screen, I hate that there's comedy in it"… BUT, I get it, we're in the Buzzfeed age, and blogs need to have a bunch of grabby, "5 Things" headlines that'll get page views, no matter how little substance it has (that criticism sounds familiar…)

Glass

Thank GOD you guys are just bloggers and not storytellers. Your reaction to this movie has consistently made you look like a bunch of old men who lost the plot a long time ago.

Old Sport

This movies was the best movie I've seen this year. Hate all you want. Your criticism means nothing to me. All the actors were great and made the characters come to life. Completely amazing old sport ;)

Nate

Making a movie is nothing like "baking cookies."

Most of your complaints in this article are criticisms of things that exist in the source material.

I re-read the book the week before the film came out and found the movie to be surprisingly faithful to the book. (Framing device aside). Most of the dialogue is lifted word for word. The only scene that really stood out to me in the film was when Gatsby and Daisy sneak away at one of his parties and talk under the trees. Maybe I am forgetting some version of this scene in the book but it seems to me this would be a complete construct since Nick (our narrator) was not there to witness this secret meeting.

I had no problem with the text on screen or the visual style of the film. It looked like a Baz Luhrmann film, which are very wild and collage-like. It's been a long time since I saw his Romeo + Juliet but I seem to recall many similar techniques and devices in that as well. His is either the 4th or 5th film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," so why not deliver what is promised with a Baz Luhrmann film? I wasn't expecting to see a Merchant Ivory style production or something similar to the Robert Redford version.

It's interesting how many reviews of the film mention its shallowness. It's almost as if their reviewing the novel, which is itself a shallow story about shallow, destructive people.

Evan

Gotta admit, I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. I didn't mind the soundtrack for the most part– I knew we were getting a new/old mash-up, and was actually surprised at how much of the old was included. Old sport was annoying, but isn't that kind of the point?

I do think you're spot-on about the problem of tonal wonkiness. When it doesn't work, it spectacularly doesn't work. Still, you have to admit that Luhrmann puts himself at greater risk than any other filmmaker. He swings for the fences over and over. When he misses, he's liable to lose his balance and fall to the ground. But when he connects it's a no-doubter. It's kind of fun to enjoy (and analyze) the ride.

Carroway's character, and Macguirre's portrayal, was frustrating. For the first twenty minutes– especially during the "sanatorium" scenes, I was convinced he was poorly cast. I thought he rebounded nicely, but did not enjoy the beginning of the film.

Alan B

The biggest chore is reading your writing, Drew Taylor. I know it's difficult to think CRITICALLY and engage with the MOTIVATED choices of a filmmaker, but this post is simply a collection of concepts that irked you, with little-to-no thought process behind WHY the director and his team made their artistic decisions. Luhrmann wanted to mix hip hop and jazz because he needed to grapple with the issue of adapting a period novel that wasn't period when it was released. So, the concept of Jazz had a very different meaning than it does today: hip hop seems like a serviceable replacement for Jazz and what it represented. Either the filmmaker needed to spend time explaining what was conventional genres and music at that time in order to make Jazz seem new and different, or he could have used NEW music that appeared NEW and DIFFERENT. I am not saying that either choice is right or wrong, but I don't understand why the former would have been truer to Fitzgerald's intentions given that he assumed that 'jazz' would directly signify his intent and that a contemporary audience would require further exposition that wasn't originally in the text. And your criticism of the repetition of "old sport" is similarly arrogant. Taylor, you list the MOTIVATED REASONS why it was used in the film (its repetition in the book, its accentuation of Gatsby's falseness) as if they were impediments to your criticism. When a phrase is deployed on 16 pages in the book, the writer is trying to tell you that IT'S IMPORTANT. I don't understand how repetition is necessarily a bad thing (it isn't), but the use in the film is similar to the one in the book, with it's overuse suggesting that Gatsby's fraud is becoming more obvious and that he is unconscious to the way he appears to others. You are meant to tire of the phrase because, get this, THE READER TIRES OF THE PHRASE TOO. Intention, motivation, artistic choices – all these elements seem to infuriate you.

BEF

I was pretty on board, except for two things —

the introduction to Tom Buchannon (Edgerton) was ridiculous and weird, tossing the football around, rushing at him, he was like Leguizamo for Luhrmann for a little bit … but when they let him settle down Edgerton was great!

the car scenes were too over the top ridiculous … I know he wants to show them as reckless, but those scenes were ridiculous.

Oh, also, I hated that the sets were largely computer generated so that Luhrmann could zoom in very quickly. Everything looked too fake, until he slowed the fuck down and the camera showed their world.

Mary McCarthy

Please stop using "schizophrenic" to describe something when you have no idea what the hell
it really means.

james

Anyone that puts a song by "Will.I.Am" in their film cant be taken seriously.

Helgi

The bottom line is that Baz Luhrmann is not suited for The Great Gatsby. He totally misunderstands the story and the atmosphere, and as a director in general he is way overrated. As you point out, he kills all the potential. Editing-wise, is he trying to revive a corpse or simply kill us the simple readers?

oogle monster

To answer your question- yes, you are being hard on the movie. The meeting between Daisy and Gatsby is well done and I enjoyed the quirkiness of it. I won't disagree that the writing on the screen is a little absurd (especially the part where Daisy appears to be hovering over the green light) but it's hard to imagine how else to translate those iconic words without actually having in your face (especially the last line of the novel). I disagree that the soundtrack was out of place. If anything it totally worked and made me enjoy the film even more. One big qualm I had with the film- that you slightly touched on- was that certain sequences looked like they had been cut and pasted out of Moulin Rouge. Anyone else feel that way? Other than that, I think you're being way too harsh on the film I.E. '"When Baz’s tonal ping-pong game doesn’t work, though, you get things like the first hour of “Australia” or, even more disastrously, “The Great Gatsby.”'

joe

obviously the author of this article never read the book because if he did he would realize that most of the times gatsby says old sport it is direct quotes from the book. I think some things pointed out are true, but it didn't ruin the movie for me. I loved the book the great gatsby and I thought this was a good movie to give a visual image of the characters and their stories. People saying that the party scenes were over the top must not have read the book either because the description of the parties in the book said the parties were like nothing they had ever seen they were wild and full of entertainment. So what was he suppose to do with the party scenes make them ordinary and dull? no he had to make them exciting and crazy. If you never read the book or if you read it and didn't like it than odds are you are probably not going to like the movie, but I thought in terms of the book the movie did a good job of displaying the emotion the characters are going through and how they go from the point of romance to tragedy.

Chase

I went into my viewing of Luhrmann's latest with low expectations; I'd heard all the "style over substance" critiques, was aware of all the tonal complaints, yet I somehow left the theater totally satisfied. Sure, there were some choices that really sucked (the text on screen garbage, editing, i.e.), but I was moved and entertained and thrilled throughout.

Dan

I haven't even seen the film but the soundtrack just sounds awful, horrible, vile, embarrassing, F. Scott Fitzgerald would be rolling in his grave.

Nick

It's Nick Carraway, not Nick Calloway.

me

The greatest American novel ever. Such literary genius never makes a smooth transition to the screen. Except for Cujo, maybe.

    stewart

    stew .. the movie was great some people are just born haters, loved the narration and top of the shelf acting from Gatsby wll gve it a 7/10

Chris

Also, why did Tobey Maguire sound like a dying old man in the very beginning? It's like Baz told him he was narrating from 40 years in the future.

kitcon

Agree although I would put #4 into the #2 slot. The trailers did an excellent job of the selling the film, making it look exciting, fun, swooningly romantic. Alas, trailer can lie.

Chris

Everything in this article is spot-on, old sport.

dana

I actually found this one of the most consistent and least frantic of Baz's films. I thought the film gave the characters quite a few moments to connect and breathe. Other than Maguire's voiceover, I had no real complaints and I think this may be a movie that gets revisited and reevaluated in a few years.

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Fifas

The “tell the history/write the story”going on during the film is a bit annoying,but forme me soundtrack is the biggest flaw.Its almost unbearable,actually,

yes it part of the nivek

Drew Taylor is an idiot

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