There has not been a movie in recent history that I have anticipated more than Baz Luhrmanns’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s “The Great Gatsby“. When we were living in Perth, the movie was being filmed in Sydney, with the Australian tabloids filled with Gatsby tidbits; my personal favorite being Leonardo DiCaprio lurking nearby and sending his handlers out into public areas and asking attractive passersby if they’d like to “party with Leo”.
I don’t know about you, but if someone approached me at a Farmer’s Market with this question, I’d certainly give a bit of thought, before ultimately shrugging, “Yeah… I could party with Leo”.
I love the spectacle of Luhrmann’s films; the trippy, cartoony images–the heartbreaking, intoxicating romances. Luhrmann is responsible for The Red Curtain Trilogy: “Strictly Ballroom”, “Romeo & Juliet” and “Moulin Rouge”, which are all wonderful in their own way–I’m personally fond of the ‘Rouge’, the movie is champagne fizz personified. He followed those works with “Australia”…which is…not the greatest film. I like the history and the landscape, and I think I’ve made my feelings about Hugh Jackman extremely clear. I enjoy the Jackman…big time.
I just couldn’t get behind Nicole Kidman in that film; her appearance is altered to the point of insincerity. She much have showed up on set that first day, face as tight as a drum, her lips bursting at the seams; looking like a porcelain doll left near an active bee hive, and everyone would have to over compensate with compliments “my god, you look so…fresh, so alert”. I image this is was how Francis Ford Coppola felt when Marlon Brando arrived on set for “Apocalypse Now“, significantly fatter than expected. “No–no, Marlon it’s fine…you look wonderful, I’ll just…shoot around your enormous beer belly, and rewrite the script to accommodate this…oh you haven’t read the script? Well I’m glad it works out for someone“.
At long last, “The Great Gatsby” has been released, and Ben and I went to see it last night. I’m not going to blame the film on my starting to drift off in the cinema. Serves us right for catching a two and a half hour long movie at 10:15pm. The movie did not disappoint–it’s a visual masterpiece; and a perfect movie to experience on the big screen. This morning, I curled up with the book, eager to revisit the source material; something Marlon Brando also didn’t do for “Apocalypse Now”. I’ve read it a few times, most recently in Perth. And today, I have a million scattered thoughts about the film, the book, the era, the actors, the author. And I’m not going to do it any justice on this lazy Sunday afternoon. F. Scott Fitzgerald didn’t publish another novel for nearly ten years after “Gatsby”…so how could I pump out a thoughtful blog about it within 24-hours?