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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"The Great Gatsby"

Drama, Adaptation. Rated PG-13. 2 hours, 23 minutes.

Graphic by Warner Bros. Pictures

Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in Warner Bros. Pictures' The Great Gatsby - 2013

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

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This is the fifth time that F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby" has been turned into a film by the same name. The first adaptation starred Warner Baxter and Lois Wilson in 1926. Alan Ladd and Betty Field were in the second version in 1949. The third adaptation starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, back in 1974. The latest "Great Gatsby" film, before this one, was released in 2000 featuring Toby Stephens and Mira Sorvino.

I came into this movie with an open mind because I didn't read the novel and I haven't seen any of the other film adaptations. All I knew going into this movie was that it starred Leonardo DiCaprio and he was going to be a con man.

This new adaptation starts out with hundreds of people partying at Gatsby's mansion on a lake. We are introduced to Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick Carraway, an aspiring bond broker in 1920s New York. He re-establishes a friendship with his cousin, Daisy (played by Carey Mulligan), and her husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Everyone is looking for Jay Gatsby, the owner of the mansion, but no one can seem to find him. Partygoers recall several different stories of his disappearance.

Nick also gets romantic with golfer Jordan Baker (played by Elizabeth Deciki), who gets pressured by Daisy to begin a romance with Nick. Jordan tells Nick about his neighbor, the ultra-rich Jay Gatsby. Nick later finds out about the love affair between Gatsby and Daisy, which was broken by him serving in World War I. Nick is left with the task of recreating the past, who is this Gatsby and how did he get to be so rich?

The entire movie from the beginning to the end is essentially a flashback. At the very end, viewers will be flashed back to the beginning and the whole movie will finally make some sense.

In most movies, you see the leading actor or actress as soon as the film begins. However, in this one, you won't. DiCaprio doesn't appear on the big screen until 20 or 25 minutes into the film. Speaking of DiCaprio, there was one kissing scene on the dock, which reminded me of the famous kiss with Kate Winslet in 1997's "Titanic."

I think this movie could be a strong Oscar contender next February. I particularly liked the use of graphics--or words on the screen--when the letters were transcribed to figure out the past. There were several scenes shot in black-and-white, which were particularly good as well.

Baz Luhrmann directed this new adaptation of "The Great Gatsby." The Australian-born director is best known for 2001's "Moulin Rouge" and 1996's "Romeo + Juliet." This film is rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language. Scenes were shot throughout Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

I enjoyed this film a lot. It was definitely a unique experience since I never read the book or seen any of the previous adaptations. I do think it was a little big long at two hours and 23 minutes. If you're a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, go check it out!

OVERALL RATING: B

 

Watch the Official Movie Trailer

 

 

Graphic by Warner Bros. Pictures

"The Great Gatsby" movie poster

 

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