The Great Gatsby is worse than I could have possibly imagined. Saying it’s over the top, self indulgent, sequinned garbage is criminally understated. But, that would be the first and only subtlety associated with this movie.
Baz Luhrmann was a terrible choice. I am a fan of his previous work, there are things he does well, but he doesn’t have any appreciation for the source material here. In fact, there seems to be an underlying indignation for the sacred ground on which he’s standing… which would explain why he pissed all over it.
Luhrmann could have done well, but he didn’t pick his moments to go all-out as expertly as he did in Moulin Rouge. The director was so busy making things look pretty (read: gaudy) he forgot about everything else. The trouble doesn’t end there, the music is terrible and disconnected, the shots are amateur, and everything about the way this movie was directed was wrong.
I am only left to assume the director did not understand the story or why it was important to preserve its tone. Everything good about the novel is buried under ten tons of dogshit… and it doesn’t matter that the dog ate a box of crayons, it still stinks.
DiCaprio is great at moments, so much so that it’s frustrating because his efforts are so wasted. Maguire was a good choice, but I hardly remember him for the aforementioned reasons. Carey Mulligan is a fine Daisy Buchanan, but she’s crippled by the fact that Baz doesn’t know why Gatsby likes her and the director seems to view women as a place to hang clothes.
This film is a mess and it’s painful to watch. Baz Luhrmann and the producers should be ashamed of themselves.