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Posts posted by Pami

  1. Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby isn’t great, but Leonardo DiCaprio’s sure is

    But then, a miracle occurs: Leonardo DiCaprio appears on screen. Whereas Luhrmann gives the impression of not having read the novel through to the end (it does contain a lot of long words), DiCaprio understands and embodies his role. His Gatsby is good to look at (enough to eat, in fact) but conscious that it’s all an artifice. Two scenes that work especially well: one, Gatsby flees the cottage before meeting Daisy, hides in the rain, and then walks back in dripping wet. He’s not a class act but a klutz – not an aristo in linen but a little boy with a crush. Two, Gatsby confronts Daisy’s husband and his gangster id takes over. JG rolls with Tom Buchanan’s verbal punches and then explodes with fury – a terrifying moment that leaves the audience as breathless as the characters. Crucially, these are scenes where Luhrmann has expanded upon the text in partnership with DiCaprio's instincts as an actor. Here the innovation works and it works because it feels spontaneous, it feels real – in contrast with Luhrmann's overly choreographed follies.

    Indeed, by attacking Luhrmann's direction I'm not making the case that the only good adaptation is a literal one. That can be equally disastrous. The 1974 Gatsby was so deferential that it felt like a study aide, and Robert Redford played Gatsby with such respect that his restrained performance was reminiscent of a mannequin. Thomas Wolfe wrote, “I'll never forgive the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby, which was the Fitzgerald novel as reinterpreted by the garment industry. Throughout the picture Robert Redford wore white suits. They fitted so badly that every time he turned a corner there was an eighty-microsecond lag before they joined him.” By contrast, DiCaprio’s performance is so vivid and real that he fairly bursts through the seams of his pretty pink suit. This is Gatsby as I’ve always imagined him: a man who wears his own face as an ill-fitting disguise.

    DiCaprio's understanding of JG is vastly superior because he sees the violence and narcissism that motivate Gatsby's unobtainable desires. Little Leo saves the movie and gives us a reason to want to pick up the novel again – and try to recapture our own golden memories of first reading it. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past…"


    But for sure I will love this movie, c'mon...hehe...I just can't wait any longer!! :chicken:

    But at least they are prasing our "little Leo" hehe :heart:

    Tks a lot Oxford.

    Tks for the artricle Kat...it seems interesting!

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