I have not been a fan of The Great Gatsby translations to the big screen. The closest, I think, was the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow one in the 70s. It was a product of its time, which is to say it was overly dramatic. I loved Sam Waterston as Nick Carraway though — he nailed it.
So when I heard there was a new one coming out, I was excited, but cautiously so — especially when they announced it would be in 3D. Leonardo DiCaprio seemed like a reasonable choice as Gatsby. Tobey Maguire, well, I could see that perhaps he’d do a good job. (I still see Waterston in my head…)
After seeing the trailer though, I’m getting prepared for a letdown. It seems highly stylized, even mashed up with the music they are playing. It’s decidedly not Jazz Age, but then using the music of today certainly gives you a better sense of what they felt in 1925, when that music was new and fresh and electrifying, instead of old and 1920’s-ish like it feels now. Musically different, but maybe emotionally a better reflection of the time.
DiCaprio seems way too sure of himself as the title character. In the book, Gatsby is always questioning himself. Yes, he’s driven, yes, he knows what he wants. But you can tell he’s outside his element, still “faking it ’til you make it” long after he buys the mansion. At every turn, he’s looking to Carraway for affirmation at every little detail. In the trailers here though, you’d think he might be reprising the role of Howard Hughes, cocky and in control.
I’ll go watch it, of course. I’m hoping that the marketing department has glitzed it up more than it’s worth.
Got some solid time in today on my own novel. Should have Part 3 complete by tomorrow. Then on to Part 4.
Word count keeps going down… and that’s a good thing at this point.