Monday, 10 June 2013

The Greatest Gatsby

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I know what my green light is, what's yours? I can't even count how many times I've read 'The Great Gatsby' over the years... it fueled my already burgeoning love for the 1920s and its fashions. I even started collecting flapper gowns and 20s accessories for a couple of years and formed a minor obsession with Dorothy Parker, her razor sharp tongue and the Algonquin gang. My interest in the era has since waned considerably but still, to finally watch an adaptation that does the whole zeitgeist and the opulence of the book justice was just beyond satisfying.

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Riveted I tell ya, riveted from start to finish. Utterly. It was just so breathtakingly lush and gorgeous. A veritable cinematic feast. Baz Luhrmann, you are hereby pardoned for the oatmeal mess of a movie that was 'Australia'. His usual 'Go Big or Go Home' approach worked like a charm with the source material. There was just so much to take in; the sumptuous locations and superbly detailed sets interspersed with dazzling costumes, the alternately frenetic and haunting music and sweeping, swooping cinematic shots - prepare yourselves for goosebumps. Big ol' knobbly ones. He did that scene where Daisy and Jordan are introduced so perfectly with the flowing, fluttering panels of white chiffony gauze. Sigh... it's so nice to see scenes in your head come to life. There were also great comedic moments just before Gatsby and Daisy's reunion, color me surprised! I have to say, Jay Gatsby is just about the saddest character ever. If ever a man needed Jesus...

And casting director, please give yourself a hand. The acting was superb in every direction. Carey Mulligan's take on Daisy's languid voice and winsome, tremulous nature was exactly as I'd imagined. The actress who played Jordan - what a find! Like some pale, exotic, angular bird. Only throwaway moment: tiny Isla Fisher as Myrtle was not at all what I pictured but she certainly made up for her lack of girth with hussified brazenness.

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And Leo, Leo was born to play Gatsby. Eat your heart out RR. Despite the fact that he was strangely Oompa Loompa-ed with orangey spray tan, I haven't liked him this much in a film since the seminal Romeo+Juliet and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?. Postdated swoon! As the lights came up, I shook myself ever so slightly and trailed out of the theater feeling like I'd been rudely awakened from some wonderfully immersive Technicolor whirl of a dream; every bit as exhilarated, disturbed and heartbroken as when I'd finished reading it the first time.

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The Baz: A slow clap is in order sir.
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"Young & Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey captured the feel of the movie so perfectly

There's nothing surer,
The rich get richer and the poor get laid off!
In the meantime,
In between time,
Ain't we got fun! - 'Ain't We Got Fun' circa 1921

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