Thursday, May 24, 2012
New Trailer for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby
The first full-length trailer for Baz Luhrmann's movie version of The Great Gatsby was just released yesterday. I have thoughts. Click on the link below to watch - I'll wait for you right here.
The Great Gatsby 2012 Trailer
As a fan of the original novel, and as someone who has been following the news about this movie since the casting search began, I have probably watched the trailer about 20 times already, and I'm still trying to decide how I feel about it and what it says about the movie itself.
The Luhrmann Treatment
I mean, you can see from the first frame that the movie has been "Baz'd" pretty hard: Exaggeration! Dancing! Champagne! GLITTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm a big fan of Luhrmann's body of work - I even liked Australia (I maintain that it wasn't a hit due to a) how long it was and b) the disconcerting fact that Nicole Kidman can no longer move the muscles in her face), but it took me a few viewings to warm up to Moulin Rouge and I'm pretty sure that Gatsby will be the same way for me. Why is that? Because I don't like it when period pieces are modernized to appeal to Katy Perry fans. I like my history straight-up. I don't need anyone to treat classic literature like it's a plate of broccoli with the "here comes the airplane, open up the hangar" game to get me to eat it. That broccoli is delicious on its own! However, as the BF pointed out: "The studios aren't trying to appeal to people like you who love the novel already - they know you'll see the movie. They're trying to get the kids who only know The Great Gatsby as some boring old book that they were forced to read in 9th grade to spend their money to see it." *sigh* He is wise. Cinematically, though, I have no complaints - it looks like it will be stunningly beautiful.
Leo has proven his talent 10 times over by now, and Tobey Maguire will be suitably earnest and conflicted enough to play Nick. I think that the biggest question regarding who would play Daisy was perfectly answered with the casting of Carey Mulligan. Girlfriend can act. Go watch An Education if you're not familiar with her (and then go watch Drive because GOSLING) - she is terrific. Blake Lively also tested for Daisy, and she really might have almost pulled it off since she is very pretty and appears to have the emotional depth of a mud puddle following a brief Spring rain, but I'm sure that her tendency to mumble her way through her lines made ol' Baz lean in Mulligan's direction. Blake's voice is not "full of money" by any stretch of the imagination. The only actor that I'm iffy about is Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan, because Edgerton looks "crafty mean" as opposed to "stupid mean". I always thought that Tom and Daisy Buchanan were so well-suited to one another because they were both so dumb, but it appears that Baz is going to make Tom much more villainous in his movie adaptation from what I can see in the trailer.
You should be able to pair two gorgeous people onscreen and the chemistry should just naturally be palpable, but it often doesn't work out that way. The lack of chemistry between Robert Redford and Mia Farrow is what caused the 1974 film version to fall flat, and you would think that merely standing next to Robert Redford could cause anyone to burst into flames of desire onscreen. Leo looks amazing in character as the golden Gatsby - he's only gotten better looking with age (as men tend to do, damn their hides). Carey Mulligan looks blonde and delicate and stunning in her flapper gear as Daisy. So far, though, the only hint of chemistry that I'm getting from the two of them together is the scene where they are both staring at one-another, breathless, framed by bouquets of white orchids. I need more than that! I need to see the yearning, I need to know why James Gatz felt like he needed to re-invent himself and his entire life in order to win back the love of a vapid little fool like Daisy. I'm sure they'll do another trailer that showcases the more romantic tones of the movie, though, so I'm content to withhold my judgement until then.
The 3D Issue
I don't understand why Luhrmann wanted to film Gatsby in 3D, other than $$$$. It's totally unnecessary. It's gimmicky. It makes it impossible for me to enjoy the movie I'm watching because it gives me a massive headache. I can see the motivation for 3D filming in the case of movies like Tron or Avatar since the point is to showcase all of today's new CGI technology, but all I can think of when I see "The Great Gatsby: in 3D" is watching poor old Myrtle's body flying at me from the hood of Jay's yellow Rolls. I don't need that experience.
What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited for the movie? Please share your thoughts!
Images from imdb.com.