The Great Gatsby – Review

4/5 – See this in 3D!

Here’s a piece of advice I never thought I’d be giving for a film adaptation of The Great Gatsby: see it in 3D. Seriously, no joke. See it in 3D. “But 3D is stupid! It never adds anything to the movie except three dollars to the ticket price!” you exclaim. Most of the time, I agree with you 100%. But it’s worth it with Gatsby. ┬áTrust me. Baz Luhrmann makes very good use of 3D tricks to make a beautifully shot movie look even more beautiful. It’s not just people reaching out from the screen towards the audience, aka every other 3D movie. It’s the way Nick’s reflection shimmers in a window, or the way the green light from Daisy’s dock glows across the bay. This is 3D all grown-up, not the adolescent stunts it’s usually associated with.

The Great Gatsby is a very good movie. I doubted it, based on the trailer. And then the movie came out to middling reviews and I doubted it more. The trailer looked beautiful, but I worried Baz Luhrmann would give in to excess and make it too over the top. But instead, he strikes a great balance between energy and elegance. The entire movie is shot beautifully and paced excellently.

I think Leonardo DiCaprio has over taken Joseph Gordon Levitt as my favorite actor of the 2000s. Looking at DiCaprio’s track record from 2002 onward, when he starred in Gangs of New York opposite Daniel Day Lewis, you would be hard pressed to find a bad movie. Note: As of today, I haven’t seen The Aviator, Body of Lies, Revolutionary Road or J. Edgar. But even if those four movies were clunkers, the remaining films are all high quality. These days, you can pretty much bank that if you’re going to see a Leonardo DiCaprio movie, you’re going to see a good movie. How many other actors without the initials JGL can you say that about?

I don’t know anything about The Wolf of Wall Street other than Leonardo DiCaprio stars and Martin Scorsese directs.
I’m doubly sold.

I forgot that Carey Mulligan played Daisy Buchanan in this movie. While watching it, I kept thinking I was looking at Michelle Williams, and then at one point, I couldn’t tell if she was Michelle Williams or Katie Holmes in a blonde wig. She didn’t have Holmes’s signature half-smirk, but she sounded more like Holmes than Williams and looked more like Williams than Holmes. Then the credits rolled. Carey Mulligan. Huh. It turns out Carey Mulligan is who you get if Michelle Williams and Katie Holmes have a baby in some out-of-left-field Dawson’s Creek subplot.

Dawson, it turns out it wasn’t Pacey you had to keep an eye on.

See The Great Gatsby in the theater in 3D. Otherwise, you might as well wait to see at home.