This is the best of the movie versions of The Great Gatsby. But even… MoreThis is the best of the movie versions of The Great Gatsby. But even taken on its own terms, without comparison to others, it's a standout. The spectacle of Gatsby's parties was wonderful and wonderfully decadent. The frame structure--Nick Carraway in a sanatorium after too much debauching and realizing a lot of people are schmucks--worked surprisingly well--and allowed Buz Luhrmann to pay homage to the original novel. Joel Edgerton made Tom Buchanan come alive in a way he never has for me even in the book. Leonardo DiCaprio is just one of the best actors around and his Gatsby rang true--the sturdy mid-western boy good looks and oddly pure obsession (although you could argue the pure part with me and you might win). Carey Mulligan looked like an angel and was indeed the "beautiful little fool" she wished on her daughter. I particularly liked the swooshing camera trick bringing us from one place to the next--I think I remember this trick from Moulin Rouge, but it worked better here because Gatsby was indeed living in two places at once: where his body happened to be and where he imagined Daisy to be. It was beautiful to look at and I didn't see it in 3d--those glasses give me a headache--but it was plenty spectacular without them.
This is easily the best movie this year. Well, The Place Beyond the… MoreThis is easily the best movie this year. Well, The Place Beyond the PInes was pretty good, too. An embarrassment of riches. The acting and editing and directing were so good it was easy to overlook the fact that the story was about a young man's (Tye Sheridan) coming to grips with whether or not it is possible for real love to exist in this world. I loved the small hand gestures--thinking Jacob Lofland's character, Neckbone, index finger sweep hello, Witherspoon's slightly raised hand in a wordless goodbye to her impossible love. Sam Shepard can do no wrong, of course, but my favorite character was Michael Shannon as Neckbone's uncle. The directing and editing was spot on. I liked the way the environment was mean but the characters never sunk into violence. So much good stuff. Go see it.
Just saw this on the big screen for the first time in 2013. What an… MoreJust saw this on the big screen for the first time in 2013. What an amazing lot of talent on one stage at one time. I saw it as a series at a local art house and there was a film professor from Local U pontificating before the film about how this movie made him hate Martin Scorsese--said he was a big egomaniac--so I was interested to see what that was all about and all I can say is I'm glad I didn't become a film major if all film profs are such jackasses. Scorsese was basically invisible--he was just the guy the Band members were talking to, in fact he seemed a little nervous--the cinematography was beautiful and the music was out of this world. I had never heard Joni Mitchell sing Coyote. Wow. It was a real story, too, about why the band was breaking up after 16 years on the road. Probably the best documentary about a band I've seen.
Fabulous. The story was absolutely real and wonderfully original.… MoreFabulous. The story was absolutely real and wonderfully original. And a word about the actors: Ryan Gosling is like a cross between James Dean and Dustin Hoffman, that is he can do anything and looks great doing it. Bradley Cooper is stunning as the cop caught in a Chinese finger puzzle and Ben Mendelsohn is pitch perfect. Eva Mendes is wonderful. Just a great movie.