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First Review Calls It a Basically Okay ‘Gatsby’

First Review Calls It a Basically Okay 'Gatsby'

“The Great Gatsby”

Ahead of its May 10th release date (and its Opening Night bow at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival), Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” premiered in New York last night. Early reactions are hard to come by so far, but I’ve already read one full-length review, from The Guardian and Vogue contributor Tom Shone on his blog These Violent Delights.

Shone gives the movie a B- overall, and has mixed to positive things to say about most aspects of the production, including the performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and the 3D direction by Baz Luhrmann. According to Shone, Luhrmann slightly refocused F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel for the big screen, changing its subject (slightly) from money to celebrity:

As ‘Romeo + Juliet’ showed, Luhrmann is not so much a romantic as a chronic fetishist of romance. He mounts huge pop-art embellishments on the theme of certain emotions — the look of them, the sound of them, the pop cultural density of them — without the bother of actually feeling them. His heart, it turns out, is elsewhere… It’s hard to mistake the compliment Luhrmann is paying himself here, nor the hint of intolerance contained in this film’s rotation of glassily perfect images. Is Gatsby a character study of a chronic perfectionist, or just a film made by one? The movie ends with DiCaprio breaking the surface of his pool, alone at last, as if letting the burden of this handsome, hectic movie slip from his bronzed shoulders. How strange that this most phantasmal of characters should, in DiCaprio’s rendering, be the most rock-solid presence in the film.”

Shone’s review is the first and only one I can find online so far. But there will plenty more opinions about “The Great Gatsby” soon, old sport, don’t you worry.

Read more of “REVIEW: ‘The Great Gatsby’ (d. Luhrmann).”

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