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Critics Aren’t Dazzled By ‘Gatsby’: A Recap of the Reviews So Far

Critics Aren't Dazzled By 'Gatsby': A Recap of the Reviews So Far

A handful of reviews are in for “The Great Gatsby,” which opens in just a few days on May 10 and kicks off the Cannes Film Festival on May 15. Pushed back six months from its original December release, Baz Luhrmann’s glimmering 3D adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel has garnered as much anticipation as skepticism: will the auteur’s flashy style compliment or complicate? So far (from what we can gauge) only one critic has praised Luhrmann while the others contend that maybe there is such a thing as too much spectacle. 

Check out what some critics have to say below.

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: “No matter how frenzied and elaborate and sometimes distracting his technique may be, Luhrmann’s personal connection and commitment to the material remains palpable, which makes for a film that, most of the time, feels vibrantly alive while remaining quite faithful to the spirit, if not the letter or the tone, of its source.”

Scott Foundas, Variety: “To accuse Luhrmann of overkill is a bit like faulting a leopard for his spots. Love it or hate it, take it or leave it, this is unmistakably his “Gatsby” through and through, and as with all such carte-blanche extravaganzas, it exudes an undeniable fascination — at least for a while.”

David Denby, The New Yorker: “Luhrmann’s vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he’s less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste.”

Alonso Duralde, The Wrap: “This film marks the official moment in which Baz Luhrmann’s signature style has become self-parody. So we beat on, boats against the current, jumping the shark.”

Anne Thompson, Thompson On Hollywood: “‘The Great Gatsby’ is a guilty pleasure, a swirling, audacious piece of cinema –in 3-D!–that could prove a crowdpleaser for young audiences.”

Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist: “The expressive ‘Gatsby’ has the power to transport, but the main problem is that it never lifts the audience to anywhere of significance other than the clouds where the party fireworks have already evaporated.”

Drew McWeeny, HitFix: “It’s as if every bit of creativity dried up the moment the deal was signed. Yes, this is exactly what I would expect a Baz Luhrmann ‘Gatsby’ would look like, but is that enough?”

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