'The Great Gatsby'
(Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton, et al / PG-13 / 132 mins)
Overview: An aspiring writer falls under the spell of an aloof millionaire with designs for the young scribe's unhappily married cousin in director Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's celebrated novel. It's the spring of 1922, and wide-eyed Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) has just moved to New York City in pursuit of the American Dream. Settling into a home next door to wealthy Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Carraway grows increasingly fascinated by the elaborate parties held at his new neighbor's estate.
Verdict: ABSOLUTELY true to the spirit of Fitzgerald's novel. Baz Luhrmann's magnificent film provides exactly what viewers want from a movie adaptation of a classic work--the visuals, the emotions, the key lines and themes--and then some. The intertwining of current music with some period jazz, as Luhrmann has explained, creates excitement so that the plot resonates here and now with exuberance, passion, humor (check out Gatsby nervously waiting to "Crazy in Love"), and despair.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are brilliant, delivering definitive interpretations of Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway. Their charm, elegance, optimism, and pathos truly are Oscar worthy. The entire cast is splendid. Sets & costumes are fantastic, depicting sumptuous wealth and gritty squalor with veracity.
The party scenes, especially for those growing up on MTV, are flat-out amazing and dreamy--complete with George Gershwin's always-stunning "Rhapsody in Blue" and fireworks.
An artistic wonder. See it!