The Great Gatsby reimagined by Baz Luhrmann

November 20, 2010

I have to be a little careful on this blog, I can only quote so much from stories I’ve written for others, including those I’ve written for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. But I’ve written a lot about The Great Gatsby over the years, perhaps it’s just fair use to quote myself here:

Gatsby is the New World scuffling up to power, to the chagrin and vague distaste of Old Europe. He is Jackson Browne’s Pretender, making love with his dark glasses on, believing “in whatever may lie, in the things that money can buy.” He has such beautiful shirts that a certain kind of woman can be moved to tears. He has to die so we might all remember our place and the evanescence of dreams.

The Great Gatsby … is a beautiful, slight and flawed book — a masterpiece of 50,000 words. It is a parlor trick of the light, a mov- ing target, sweet and hollow and bitter at the end. It is the great American novel. It is everything they say about it — the truest lie ever told.

And apparently it’s to be made into a movie. Again. With Leonardo DeCaprio as Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan and possibly Tobey Maguire as narrator Nick Carraway. See here. The film, characterized as being in development by the Internet Movie Database, is tentatively slated for a 2012 release.

Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, photographed by Baz LuhrmannCarey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, photographed by Baz Luhrmann

I don’t hate Jack Clayton‘s 1974 film (which is often referred to as one of the worst cinematic adaptations of a great novel ever made; trust me it’s not); it’s simply not the sort of film that makes much of an impression. (I do remember Bruce Dern as the racist ex-jock Tom Buchanan, which didn’t seem like great casting at the time.) So at least Luhrmann doesn’t have to take on two ghosts with his movie. We can only hope he makes it a musical.

(Thanks to Sam Blair for spotting thing.)


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