Monday, July 29, 2013

{Weekend Update}...Movie Musings

I'll admit that while I love movies, I very rarely watch them (especially in theaters!) because I don't have the patience to sit for so long. Also, I find it incredible that theaters charge over eight dollars to see a film. Insanity! However, after a long and anticipated-ridden wait, I saw "Gatsby" at our local budget theater. And was I surprised! I had heard from many a fellow English major that the film was trite, over-bearing, ridiculous, "just too much," and Leo was "so Leo" for such a story. With all expectations in the negative, I watched in awe at the splendor of Luhrmann's interpretation. I would argue it's one of his most beautiful works. 

DiCaprio was not "too Leo" for me, but rather embodied the perfectly groomed Gatsby with whom so many readers fall in love. His old time, genial looks are pretty perfect for his pink suits, and slicked hair. The smile, the flawless gait and dancing, his speech patterns were beautiful. 

Yes, I did think his "old sport" line sounded a little funny, as some mysterious accent was only applied to those paired words. However, generally the delivery was elegant. 

Meanwhile, Carey Mulligan was lovely Daisy. She was dainty, entrancing, and vain. Her mannerisms were that a young, enchanting girl that didn't know what real life was. To me, she was stunning. On a sadder note, Toby Maguire was severely disappointing. His acting was fine, if not pleasing (despite the stupid trance-like stare he often does) throughout. Like Nick Caraway, he was a perfectly average guy amidst a magical set of elite. 

And then there is his narration. 

I quite enjoyed Luhrmann's use of Fitzgerald's text as scaffolding. As words bloomed, faded, danced across the screen the story unfolded. But Maguire narrated with such exaggerated lyricism that the narration the seriousness, the truth, the art and gravity of the story was lost. 

The cinematography and costuming redeemed any low points, though. A huge applaud should go out to the creative directors, including those (like Jay Z) curating the soundtrack . All in all, "Gatsby" is a masterful, deft interpretation of a legendary, acclaimed American story. 

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