Magazine article Variety

Glitzy Gatsby Remains Book-Bound

Magazine article Variety

Glitzy Gatsby Remains Book-Bound

Article excerpt

GLITZY GATSBY REMAINS BOOK-BOUND

4/10

Sinking into my seat before The Great Gatsby, I tried to keep some encouraging wisdom from the book in mind: "Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope." Afterward, removing my 3D glasses and brushing invisible glitter from my shoulder, I could no longer quite recall F. Scott Fitzgerald's words, even though I had just spent two-and-a-half hours reading little else. Among its many innovations, Baz Luhrmann's latest showpiece is the rare adaptation that forces you to do almost as much reading as the novel itself, slathering whole chunks of Fitzgerald's prose onscreen amid cutaways to a furiously typing-and-scribbling Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire).

Let's give Luhrmann credit for capturing the author's voice in the one way he knows how: in an attractive selection of typefaces. A companion piece to the director's superior Moulin Rouge, this Gatsby is another early-20th-century tale of doomed love staged as maximalist kitsch carnival, designed to wow you with old-fashioned, newfangled razzle-dazzle. Like any good souffle, it's pretty even when it collapses. Leonardo DiCaprio makes a suitably debonair Gatsby; Carey Mulligan is a beautiful little fool indeed as Daisy Buchanan. Catherine Martin's production design and costumes are as staggering as you'd expect: Don't be surprised if your attention wanders from the nervous drama of Gatsby and Daisy's first reunion to an eye-catching selection of macarons. …

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