"The Great Gatsby"
By Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic
If any piece of classic American literature should be depicted
on film with wildly decadent and boldly inventive style, it's "The
Great Gatsby." After all, who was the character of Jay Gatsby
himself if not a spinner of grandiose tales and a peddler of lavish
dreams? And Baz Luhrmann would seem like the ideal director to
bring F. Scott Fitzgerald's story to the screen yet again, to
breathe new life into these revered words, having shaken up
cultural institutions previously with films like "William
Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" and "Moulin Rouge!" But in Luhrmann's
previous films, there still existed a fundamental understanding of
the point of the stories he was telling; beneath their gorgeous
trappings, they still reflected the heart and the purpose of the
works from which they were drawn. His "Great Gatsby" is all about
the glitter but it has no soul - and the fact that he's directed it
in 3-D only magnifies the feeling of artificiality. His camera
rushes and swoops and twirls through one elaborately staged
bacchanal after another but instead of creating a feeling of
vibrancy, the result is repetitive and ultimately numbing. Rather
than creating a sense of immersion and tangibility, the 3-D holds
you at arm's length, rendering the expensive, obsessive details as
shiny and hollow when they should have been exquisite. Leonardo
DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan star.
PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying
and brief language. 141 minutes.
One and a half stars out of four.