Saturday, May 26, 2012

My play by play analysis of the Great Gatsby Trailer or Why I watched it three times in a row this morning.

If you were a freshman girl in high school who considered herself "literary" in 1996, chances are you were obsessed with Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet just like I was.  The movie had post-Angela-Chase Claire Danes (looking totally adorbs in angel wings) and quintessential 90s-dreamboat- Leonardo DiCaprio- a name that often made me think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I was a child of the 80s after all) so I affectionately passionately referred to him as Leo.  My boyfriend. And still do.

In 2012,I have not grown out of my love for either of these actors or for Baz Luhrmann.  While I never became a fan of Moulin Rouge or Australia, I saw Strictly Ballroom not that long ago and absolutely loved it.

I remember my high school English teachers rolling their eyes at new version of Romeo and Juliet- insisting that the Zeffrielli film was the real classic (I could't get over how horribly "70s" it felt) and I've often wondered if I saw Claire and Leo for the first time as an adult, if I would have even liked it.  Because after seeing the trailer for The Great Gatsby, I'm suddenly siding with my English teachers and I don't' know what to do.

I want to LOVE this movie.  But already the soundtrack is totally throwing me off.  And while Leo is still so totally my boyfriend and Carey Mulligan is super cool, I'm just not so sure what I think.  Well, actually I know exactly what I think and plan on giving you my analysis (highly scientific) of the trailer right now.  First, if you have't yet, watch it:

Okay, now for my highly analytical opinion.  Firstly, look, I'm not saying I'm against this really, but how is this a real thing.  This is "New York 1922"? Um...really?

Moving on. Obligatory Baz Luhrmann fire works.  Gatsby:

Romeo + Juliet

I like Toby McGuire's voice over and I like Carey Mulligan saying "Gatsby, what Gatsby?" But, and here's where I'm going to sound old, Jay-Z and Kanye? I don't' really get it. It's not really putting me in flapper mood. I am into the second song though- Jack White's cover of U2's Love is Blindness.

Why, hello boyfriend.

Now here's the part that made me mad.  Carey Mulligan says "You always look so cool.  The man in the cool beautiful shirts."  My first reaction was, no way.  Daisy would never had said, "you always look so cool."  So I Googled that line.  Turns out she does say it and it's actually one of the most famous lines in the novel, because it is what she says when Tom Buchanan realizes that she is in love with Gatsby.  However, she does not say it during the scene when Gatsby is showing her his collection of  imported shirts (also an extremely famous scene)- she says it over lunch.  And it is not followed by "the man in the cool beautiful shirts."

So why Baz?  Why use the most famous line in the book- use it in the trailer even, but then totally change it.  I just don't get it!  Is anyone else upset about this? Or do I sound crazy?  Also, as a side note, in the book, Daisy is obviously referring to Gatsby's temperature (even though what's really happening is that she is saying she loves him) not using the slang world "cool." However, in the trailer you get the feeling that she's telling him he looks cool in the modern sense of the word.

Okay, yes, I'll admit it, I wish my hair had looked like this for my wedding.

As all hell starts to break loose, all I can find myself thinking is, a rained soaked Leo is one of the best kinds of Leos. Gatsby:


So things go crazy, we get a cover shout out- which I like

and then LOL Giant bottle of champagne boy!

And that's about it!  So what do you think? I'm obviously going to go see it!  And I want to like it, but we shall see.  Do you think Baz Luhrmann intends to go through the entire cannon of high school required reading?  The Cather in The Rye?  Of Mice and Men? My Antonia? All set to a distractingly modern sound track?  Who knows? 

In the mean time, since December is years away, I think I'm going to have a viewing party of the Robert Redford Gatsby at my house because I've never seen it before!  And I really hope someone will show up with a giant bottle of champagne.


  1. Makes me wish Baz directed the Hunger Games.

  2. I, too, absolutely loved Romeo+Juliet. When my daugher had to read the book in high school I was so excited to share this movie with her, but...let's just say she didn't share my affections. Gatsby looks intriguing. I enjoy DiCaprio because he always picks such interesting and creative movies to act in.

  3. I think it looks like 1922 New York as interpreted by Baz Luhrmann...most of his movies have that highly stylized exaggerated feel to them, which is part of what makes them so visually stunning. He tends to play things a bit fast and loose and raucous. As for the music...I think I'm just getting so used to period movies with contemporary music in them that it doesn't phase me much anymore. In fact, I think it can be kind of cool.

    I think my opinions are also tainted by the fact that I do really enjoy Baz Luhrmann movies and am not much of a Gatsby purist. In fact, I think I really ought to reread Gatsby since the only time I read it I felt like I didn't really "get" it. (I free read it sometime in high school.)

  4. Loved this movie, seen it twice. Fell in love all over again with the man in the cool beautiful shirts!