Tag: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

May 12th, 2013 — 6:18pm

The Great Gatsby****

The Great Gatsby-rm– When a film comes out with a hundred million dollar budget and is based on  one of the great novels of the 20th century, plus it has Leonardo DiCaprio (and also has a 3D version –which we didn’t see), there are too many expectations to live up to. Putting all this aside, there is a very intriguing storyline (thank you Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as director and co screen writer Baz Luhrmann (who also directed  Moulin Rouge). Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio)  is offered to us as a combination  of an obsessed,  eternal optimist, somewhat unbalanced and a tragic figure. The object of this intriguing and complicated figure’s attention is another man’s wife and that is Daisey Buchanan (Carrie Mulligan). The other man is the truly very rich Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton) who has one of those thin mustaches which make a person look evil but he turns out to be much more multifaceted. Then there is Nick Carraway (Tobey Maquire), the guy through whose eyes we are seeing the story and in fact has written it all down at the behest of his psychiatrist (Can’t forget to mention the importance of a shrink.) Maguire’s perplexed and concerned facial expression contrasts with the the range and intensity which DiCaprio emotes throughout the film. So where did this big budget go? Aside from perhaps in DiCaprio’s and the other all star cast’s pockets, it paid for the  magnificent scenes of extravagant parties in the estates on the Hamptons in Long Island,  period costumes and  rich interiors, expensive  autos, realistic NYC skyline and bridges all of the 1920’s, all  perhaps a little overdone. Some of it must  have been CGI as there were probably hundreds if not 1000 artists listed in the credits. There was also a 3D version. One of us had the thought that this could have effectively been done as a much less expensive film noir version in black and white and still captured the drama and clever turnabouts in the plot. Interestingly, the music background was contemporary with lots of stuff by Jay Z rather than the jazz or flapper music of the 1920’s. In the end a lot of people are going to see this film, enjoy it and remember it. (2013)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

Midnight in Paris

June 5th, 2011 — 6:43am


Midnight In Paris rm-   The movie opens with a couple of minutes of  various beautiful scenes throughout Paris which made us both independently  feel that we are ready for a return trip to the city of lights. Woody Allen wrote and directed the film. You can not help but feel that it is Allen speaking through the main character who is Gil Pender(Owen Wilson),  a disenchanted  Hollywood screenwriter, who is  working on his first novel and is visiting Paris with his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) and her parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). Gil is enchanted with Paris and would like to live there for awhile but his fiancée thinks  that is a foolish idea. She would prefer to go sightseeing with Carol and Paul,  good friends who just happened to be also visiting Paris. Paul  is a know-it-all (wonderfully played by Michael Sheen) who has the  intellectual connection to Paris as compared the emotional attachment which Gil has formed with this city. Paul has the audacity to debate some historical facts with a museum guide who interestingly enough is played by Carla Bruni, well known singer, model and wife of the President of France. Whereas Gil after a few drinks and some wondering the streets of Paris at night is offered a ride by some party going people in what appears to be a 1920s Peugeot Limousine. He finds himself whisked to late night parties where he meets F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Alice Toklas, Salvatore Dali and other illustrious persons of Paris of this bygone era. He returns on succeeding evenings where he was picked up to visit to the Paris of old. He even gets Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) to read the novel he is writing. He becomes enamored with the mistress of Picasso who prefers to be taken even further back in time as she yearns to be in the Paris of the renaissance. It is then that Gil realize that that it is human nature to want to be back in the good old days and that we never recognize that we all have to live our lives in the present. So maybe after all these years Woody Allen has had a successful psychoanalysis. The result is a very charming, “feel-good” enjoyable movie.

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Romance

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