Does “The Great Gatsby” live up to its name? Not everyone who saw it is sure.
Reviews are pouring in, comparing director Baz Luhrmann’s (“Romeo + Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge”) film to the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that inspired it. Some love its depiction of 1920s excess, and some don’t. Is the adaptation too faithful or not faithful enough?
Check out a cross-section of reviews for a few insights into the film:
How ’Great’ Is ’Gatsby’?
“Clearly, a Baz Luhrmann film coming at you in 3-D is not posturing as a deep-dish literary adaptation. One expects only the surfaces of the novel, and indeed that’s what you get in this ’Gatsby.’ But on its own terms, that might have worked. Gatsby’s lifestyle has a gleaming surface, after all. So where lies the failure of this not-so-great Gatsby? I think this may be a film that doesn’t quite know what it wants to do.” — Kirk Honeycutt, Honeycutt’s Hollywood
“[Tobey] Maguire’s otherworldly coolness suits the observer drawn into a story he might prefer only to watch. [Leonardo] DiCaprio is persuasive as the little boy lost impersonating a tough guy, and [Carey] Mulligan finds ways to express Daisy’s magnetism and weakness.” — Richard Corliss, Time
“The director has steadfastly proclaimed his passion for the novel, but the film he’s made of it too often plays as no more than an excuse to display his frantic, frenetic personal style. A filmmaker who has increasingly made a fetish of excess and a religion of artificiality, Luhrmann and his team (’Moulin Rouge,’ ’Romeo + Juliet’) pile on the spectacle and the glitter until we are gasping for air. It’s all so chaotic that the fact that the soundtrack is filled with anachronistic songs by 21st century performers like Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey barely registers.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“His ’Great Gatsby’ is all about the glitter but it has no soul — and the fact that he’s directed it in 3-D only magnifies the feeling of artificiality. His camera rushes and swoops and twirls through one elaborately staged bacchanal after another but instead of creating a feeling of vibrancy, the result is repetitive and ultimately numbing. Rather than creating a sense of immersion and tangibility, the 3-D holds you at arm’s length, rendering the expensive, obsessive details as shiny and hollow when they should have been exquisite.” — Christy Lemire, The Associated Press
The Final Word
“This ’Gatsby’ is so immense and overwrought — lumbering across the screen like the biggest, trashiest, loudest parade float of all time — that its intimacies feel like shared secrets between the director and the viewer. The film’s like a guest at a wild gathering who finds the noise and frenzy tiresome and would much rather be at home reading, but can’t let on because he’s supposed to be the life of the party.” — Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Great Gatsby.”