Saturday, May 18, 2013

of movies and gatsby and geeks

Last night D and I went to a coffee shop and then to a movie theater to see The Great Gatsby.  I loved:  the soundtrack, the cinematography, the set design, the costume design, the depiction of Gatsby's parties, the fact that the script relied heavily on the novel's language.  I adored the panoramic views of New York.  I thought Carey Mulligan made a fine Daisy Buchanan AND here's a fun fact:  did you know she's one of the younger sisters in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice, too?  Doesn't look anything like she does now and that movie isn't terribly old. 

I didn't like:  this version of Gatsby.  He came off as cra-crazay and manic and sort of stalker-ish.  Afterwards D and I agreed that DiCaprio played the same role once before and it's called Howard Hughes.  Robert Redford did it MUCH better.  Now I'm wondering, WAS Gatsby supposed to be interpreted as sort of a stalker?  He came off as more idealistic and less nutty in the book to me.  Also, screenwriters, yes, Gatsby says "Old sport," often.  But NOT in every sentence.  Sheesh.  Heard of moderation? 

For what it's worth, Mr. D really liked the movie and he's never read the book.  I gave him the set up, but didn't give any spoilers.  He thought it was a great story and also loved the cinematography and music.  As we drove home, I assaulted him with facts about the book and F. Scott Fitzgerald and literary history because I'm helpful like that.  To this day "I just remembered it was my birthday" still strikes me as the most random line in almost all of literature.  D hypothesized that maybe it WAS F. Scott's birthday the day he wrote that scene and just stuck it in there and it never got taken out.  Thoughts. anyone?

Was it worth $10 to see it on the big screen with other similarly inclined movie-goers?  Yes. 
Could I tell who was heading to Star Trek and Iron Man and Gatsby just by looking around at the crowd?

Also, D and I were sated with awesome movie previews, which I must say are a critical part of the whole movie-going experience.  The previews annoy me at home when watching a DVD, but in a theater, I expect to see plenty of them.  In fact, I feel ripped off when I go to a movie and they only play one preview. 

In other news, Mr. B came inside yesterday telling me that the husband and wife robins attacked him, too.  He was trying to check out their nest and they went nuts.

Two nights ago after a reallyreallyreally long day of subbing for 2nd grade, running to baseball, running errands, corralling kids and pumping green slurry out of the pool I took a shower.  Then as I lay in bed I remembered I'd left the faucet running outside, so I stepped onto the porch to shut it off.  The faucet is next to my potting bench, the spot where a robin will always make a nest every spring.  Still damp from my shower, I disturbed the robin, got shat on, and that robin squawked and flew wildly around my head while I cursed and jumped and made my own strange sounds.  We freaked each other out pretty badly.  In retrospect, it might have been two robins.  It sure felt like two robins.  I was so peeved to have to clean up again before bed. 

We have tulips, pear tree blossoms and Team Testosterone is digging another HUGE hole in the field.  Pictures to come soon.

Spill it, reader.  Did you or do you plan to see The Great Gatsby?


  1. Gatsby? Naw. have read it umpteen times and enjoyed it, but I canNOT stand DiCrapio!

  2. Have not made it to Gatsby yet, but still want to see it. I can see how this version has more of an edge. I've read a bit about Fitzgerald and his underlying view of Gatsby and that seems how he would see the part played. But, I do love Robert Redford and think he got it right :-)

  3. I do want to see Gatsby, but whether or not I go see it remains to be seen.

  4. I saw it and enjoyed it. I loved Redford originally but when I rewatched it a few weeks ago I thought he and Mia Farrow had no chemistry at all. Leo and Carey had more spark.

  5. I haven't read the book or seen any of the movies (I rarely read classics). I did, however, hear an NPR review, and in some ways it was similar to your review. The main point that sticks with me is that the director is known for excess in other movies and this one was no exception. While he said it was beautiful, he didn't care for it much as an interpretation of the book. I also heard an interview with a writer, also on NPR, where he read several passages, and I could see how they would be almost impossible to translate to the screen. Really, I'm pretty well informed for someone who hasn't read the book or seen the movie :-)

  6. F. Scott is my favorite writer, hands down. While I prefer his short stories, Gatsby is a beautifully written book. Like all movies based on a book, I'm skeptical. Edie has recently read the book (and has been pushing it on all her friends, lending out both her copy & my copy, because yes, she loved it that much she spent her own money getting her own copy) and joins me in the skepticism. We haven't decided if we're going to go see it on the big screen yet or not. I know it's going to be eye-candy and I adore Leo, but the soundtrack gives me pause. I've listened to it and while I see the director's point in his comment 'hip-hop is our equivalent of jazz' or however he framed it, I'm still not at all sure.

    We used to have robins that nested in our hedge that would attack Pat. He once tried to save one of their babies that fell out of the nest and they never forgave him. They used to attack him and when sitting under the dogwood, they would yell at me - though not attack. This went on for a few years. Poor guy took it personally.

  7. Going to see Star Trek first, may catch this one on DVD. We are smacking up against summer, into the high 90's already. Tomatoes have blossoms and the squash is looking good. Will have to stay on top of them with the water and heat.

  8. I saw it yesterday..loved how they mixed up the music...the whole crazy extravagance of that era mirrors ours and the music just made it. I remember in high school thinking Gatsby was a bit "unstable", but Leo seemed pretty needy. I guess it gave them more of an excuse to do the contemplative blue eyes shot (heck, could have watched that for 2 hrs lol) Old Sport..Ahhhhhhh! Make it stop! Today we saw Iron Man. I am officially on hottie overload!!!

  9. I recently saw a different version of Gatsby from 2000 with Toby Stephens and Mira Sorvino. It was OK, but I liked Toby Stephens. I've never been a fan of the book, or Fitzgerald in general, except for his short stories, but I'll definitely see the new Gatsby, although probably after it comes out on netflix.

  10. The more I taught it, the more I thought of Gatsby as crazy rather than idealist - but maybe I just tired of him and his behavior...can't wait to see it in the theaters!!

  11. I read Gatsby in high school and HATED it. I should read it again now with the wisdom of years to see if I like it any better.

    I do want to see the movie because I really enjoy Baz Luhrmann films, especially the way he mashes current music with classic stories.

    I'd rather see Iron Man III first, though, because...Robert Downey, Jr.!

  12. Not reading...because I'm going to see the show in about 2 hours ....

  13. We saw Gatsby this weekend, too! And My Guy hadn't read the book, either, so it sounds like we had very similar weekends.

    I loved the eye candy aspect of the movie, but I didn't remember Gatsby being such a narcissistic stalker in the book. And I totally agree with you on the "Old Sport" business. Give it a rest, already.

    I think the "It's my birthday" line was the 1920s version of emo. It was F. Scott wearing black eyeliner and listening to The Cure because no one understands his angst.

  14. Any time I love a book, I get nervous about seeing the movie. In fact, the only two books I loved that were actually made into movies that I loved were the original Willy Wonka and Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Based on your review, and other's I've read and heard, I think I'll be steering clear of Gatsby.

  15. Call me critical, but I never liked the characters in Gatsby (I recall wanting to slap them all in high school) so I doubt I'll go see the movie. Well, that and we rarely, rarely go see movies -- we wait for the library to purchase them and then we check them out for a weekend.


Spill it, reader.