Baz Luhrmann’s new film release of The Great Gatsby is a déjà vu to our 1920’s past eerily resembling our present. To miss this comparative statement about the divisions within American social class: the over-consumption and decadence of ‘old money’–old, in that those who acquired it through corruption and vice were/are now a few generations in the past, thus their descendants born into elite ‘respectability’–and the arrogance that the wealthy aristocracy held/hold for the working class, is to have one’s head virtually buried in 2013 sand.
Aptly prepared by the negative reviews–including the lamblasting given in Rolling Stone— where the writers gleefully copied one another’s adjectives in panning the film, I soldiered onward to the theatre to witness first-hand this latest attempt of turning F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic into art on the screen. After all, how bad could it be with Leonardo DiCaprio cast as Gatsby? In my experienced imagination, no better present-day human incarnation could bring Gatsby’s character to life in the art of film. I was not disappointed. And to all those who wrote those negative reviews, I accuse them of never having read Fitzgerald’s novel; or if they had read it, of having somehow missed the essence of the story within Fitzgerald’s sparse, yet rich and luminous prose. Luhrmann’s film is brilliant: the script and dialogue; the set; the casting and their superb performances; the costuming; and yes–even the music. My advice: don’t miss it.
What follows is the best and most insightful review I’ve seen to date: