creativity,  fiction,  film,  reviews

In Defense of Gatsby


I went to see the The Great Gatsby a couple of weekends ago, and I loved every over-the-top second of it. (No spoilers here, by the way, even if you’ve never read the novel).

I know it’s been skewered in reviews. The Washington Post gave it two stars. Ouch. CNN called it garish, and The Independent said it lacks subtlety.

Well, yes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t expect subtlety when I see movies directed by Baz Luhrmann. I mean, this is the director who gave us the epic Australia. He gave us Prince tunes and drag queens in his 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet. The whores’ tango number to “Roxanne” in Moulin Rouge is quite possibly my favorite film scene of all time.

Is the Gastby film 100% true to the novel? No. Is it a sensory overload? Yes! And that’s what I loved about it. If I want subtlety, I’ll watch a Noah Baumbach film (which, by the way, I also love. Anyone want to go see Frances Ha with me? My husband has had it with what he calls my “depressive angsty lady” movies).

The haters giving Gatsby bad reviews need to forget about the book they read in high school or in their college American Lit classes. This is Baz Luhrmann, people. I go to Baz for pure beauty, joy, and escapism. I would watch an egg being fried if Luhrmann filmed it. And the egg would have fireworks flying from it and would sizzle to a Jay-Z soundtrack.