It’s not looking very good for the latest film version of The Great Gatsby judging by the reviews. I had my concerns from the very start when Baz Luhrmann was chosen as director. Baz is s musical specialist not someone with much experience directing dramas. I’m just not a fan of musicals.
“Luhrmann’s 3-D visual flourishes feel superfluous: Occasionally, words pop out across the screen as Nick feverishly writes Gatsby’s tale … None of it contributes to a sense of immersion.”
“Luhrmann’s direction of his actors cudgels every instinct of naturalness out of them and pushes everyone, even as instinctively genuine an actress as Mulligan, toward overblown characterizations and stilted line reading.”
“She’s down-to-earth pretty (a tad mousy) rather than unattainably glamorous. She does well in Daisy’s most challenging scene, in which she has to oscillate between the desires of two impossible men, the monomaniacal Gatsby and the overentitled Buchanan. But it’s possible to forget she’s in the movie.”
“He [Luhrmann] unleashes every manipulation he can think of — sepia flashbacks, smash zooms, split screens, superimpositions, period newsreel footage, new footage degraded to resemble period newsreel footage — all of it coming at you in three stereoscopic dimensions.”
“Technically, Luhrmann’s in show-off mode from the opening of the film to the close, and it’s all very impressive in terms of sound and image. His use of 3D is dazzling as a way of drawing you into these spaces, and the production design and the costuming is all opulent, suggestive of an era rather than slavishly accurate.”
“The director has fashioned a gaudy long-form music video — all kaleidoscopic spectacle and little substance — rather than a radiant new take on an American literary classic.”
“This film marks the official moment in which Baz Luhrmann’s signature style has become self-parody. So we beat on, boats against the current, jumping the shark.”