Amazing. Simply Amazing.
Baz Luhrmann is one of my favorite directors, that's for sure. Maybe there are one or two flicks that I don't really fancy, but more often than not, Mr. Luhrmann's treatment and style is simply one of the best.
His collaboration with the screenwriter Craig Pearce made this remake more interesting than all the other versions combined. I heard from the grapevine that Ben Affleck was supposed to play Tom Buchanan, but had to concentrate on Argo. What a pity! Yet, even if Joel Edgerton, Ben Affleck's replacement, looked much, much older than his character's age, he immersed into role and became Tom Buchanan.
Mom said that the casting directors, Nikki Barrett and Ronna Kress, have very keen eyes. Joel Edgerton looked older than his age because of the booze and the drugs, plus of course other factors like his true feelings for Myrtle, his mistress, whom Isla Fisher played so well.
Tobey Maguire was perfect as Nick Carraway.
What about Leonardo DiCaprio? What did I think about his portrayal?
At first I thought he looked too much like how Robert Redford looked like in 1974, but a few minutes later, I realized that he had a totally different attack on J. Gatsby's persona.
The way he moved his hand, the way he stared across the bay, the way he was nervous about meeting that very undeserving obsession named Daisy for the first time after five years and so much more, made Jay Gatsby more lovable and more human. Leonardo DiCaprio is Jay Gatsby in the flesh.
F. Scott Fitzgerald was never my favorite author so I never read the novel. If ever I did some reading about it besides all the articles about the somewhat, in MY opinion, dragging 1974 version, I could bravely say I did read some cliff notes. Yes, that's about it! I'm one person who cannot say that the novel is much, much better than any of the film and TV versions.
Ali McGraw was supposed to play Daisy and not Mia Farrow, but sorry Ali, I may have loved you in Love Story, but I couldn't imagine you playing the role.
I wish I could say that I have watched Alan Ladd or Warner Baxter, but I did have a glimpse of the TV movie starring Mia Sorvino, Paul Rudd and Toby Stephens. Yes, only a glimpse, so it's no use to compare Leonardo DiCaprio with Toby Stephens.
One actor who also played a very important role was Jason Clarke. I've seen him several times before, but I don't remember what movie or tv series or whatever else, but after watching him play Myrtle's distraught husband, George Wilson(no, not Dennis the Menace's neighbor)... Man. He was intense. He did not have to say much. His eyes were in pain. You felt his compunction and struggles just by looking at his eyes. His body language makes one forget that he or she is just watching a movie. It was as if he was just there in front of you and you were experiencing every scenario as if you were included.
Jason Clarke, this time, I would never forget you. You were fantastic as George.