I missed the boat.
I missed the boat filled with people who believe the new Gatsby movie sucked. That ship sailed and I wasn’t on it. I don’t know what’s up with those people.
In this post, I’ll explain why I disagree with most critics on The Great Gatsby movie. The film has been critically panned, receiving 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve read several recurring arguments online, and I want to take a look at each of those.
As a reminder, I’ve read the Gatsby novel five times. It’s my favorite book, and if a director did a crappy job of putting Fitzgerald’s story on screen, I would be more than happy to ridicule said director.
In this case, I think Baz Luhrmann did a (mostly) excellent job of making this classic novel into a Hollywood film. But let’s take a look at what some of his critics are saying.
We’re coming up on a little over a month until the new Gatsby film comes out. May 10 to be exact.
Seeing as Gatsby is my favorite novel and Dicaprio is one of my favorite actors, I’m slightly excited. I think I might even review the movie on this blog, something I’ve never done before.
A few days ago, they released character posters from the film..and here they are in all their glory.
As you may know, a new Gatsby movie is coming out next summer, starring Leo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan.
It was originally scheduled to come out on Christmas Day, but the film got pushed back—hopefully not because it sucked.
I’m beyond excited about it. I love the novel and Dicaprio is one of my favorite actors, so it’s a win-win.
The novel has been adapted to film six times. I’m not sure about this, but that has to be close to a record. It’s interesting to look back at the history of Gatsby on film, just seeing how it has evolved over the years.
The more I read through Atonement, the more I can see how this novel became an Academy Award nominated movie. It’s a great story, just made for Hollywood.
At times, though, the plot feels almost too Hollywood with too many perfectly timed coincidences. A few incidents in the plot are the action movie equivalent of the sniper who shoots the gunman seconds before the gunman shoots the hostage in the head.
When I heard that The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2004 film starred Robert Deniro, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel, I immediately added it to my to-watch list. Quite a cast.
The book lends itself to a great story that could be a powerful film. That’s why I was surprised when I saw all the poor reviews.
And it’s not just critics. Regular people like you and me hate it too. Misty, a commenter on this blog, had this to say about it:
Many bad movies have been made from great novels. But I’d say that very few bad novels have been turned into great movies.
So when a novel is turned into a feature film that wins 6 Academy Awards and the first Golden Globe for Best Picture, you can safely assume that the original novel was excellent.
An American Tragedy was published in 1925. Twenty-five years later, the novel was turned into a wildly successful film called A Place In The Sun—starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelly Winters, “three flaming young stars,” according to the movie’s trailer below.
In one corner, it’s Chinua Achebe, Nigerian author of Things Fall Apart—one of the most celebrated novels in the history of the planet.
In the other corner, it’s 50 Cent, famous rapper, wanna-be actor.
Last year, these two faced off in a lawsuit showdown—slightly less interesting than a showcase showdown on The Price Is Right.
At issue, the name of 50 Cent’s upcoming movie at the time, Things Fall Apart. Achebe—or, more accurately, Achebe’s lawyers—said you can’t do that, Fiddy. You can’t use the name of one of the most celebrated novels in the world for your low end movie about a football player with cancer.
Hollywood has never been shy about embellishing and/or totally changing the meaning of a novel to make the story sell to a film audience.
Stanley Kubrick was a master at this. He changed the ending of A Clockwork Orange, and in Lolita he seemed to make Humbert the victim of Dolores’ seduction, instead of a sexual predator obsessed with a 13-year-old girl.
When I did a Google search for a cover of Wide Sargasso Sea to display on my blog, I found two things—as is the case with most novels that become movies. I found a variety of cover images of the novel—exactly what I was looking for—but I also found all sorts of movie posters and images from the film.
What struck me about these posters is how misrepresentative they are of the story—at least the book version. Wide Sargasso Sea is not a romance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Maybe there’s one or two scenes of a sexual nature, but that’s it. And they aren’t much to speak of. I hardly remember them.
But by looking at the movie posters, you would think Wide Sargasso Sea was some kind of romance novel fit for a Fabio cover or an Antonio Banderas starring role. It’s just silly.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a few of the novel’s covers versus a few of the movie posters.
We’ll start with the book.
My wife says I have a man crush on Leonardo Dicaprio. It’s not true. I just think he’s a really good actor. Ever since The Departed, I’ve been a big fan of any movie he’s in.
So if you put one of my favorite actors in the primary role of a movie about one of my favorite novels, then you can imagine how pumped I would be. With that in mind, the newest version of The Great Gatsby is scheduled to come out on Christmas Day of this year.
Why is the title of this novel so bad, so cheesy?
I’m halfway into Never Let Me Go. As I told you on Tuesday, I’m really enjoying the book to this point. The premise of the novel is eery and uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it so intriguing. However, I still can’t get over this title.
In my preview, I said the title sounded like a cheesy Britney Spears lyric. Come to find out, “Never Let Me Go” is actually a lyric from a song in the book. I guess I was almost right.