Thursday, March 10, 2011

Film News

Rumor has it that director Baz Luhrmann will begin filming his adaptation of The Great Gatsby this month. The Great Gatsby being my favorite book, of course I was excited when I started to hear whispers and noises about a remake in the works. There have been six film adaptions of The Great Gatsby! Still, I assure you, the wheel has not been reinvented as none of the six has captured the greatness of  Fitzgerald's novel. How is it possible? Why hasn't someone snapped it up and blow us away with a great movie? And why have there been such great gaps of time between the last few attempts? THE American Novel. The roaring 20s, Long Island, love, intrigue, prohibition, flapper fashion! What's not to love?

...Well then, I was positively over the moon when it was announced that Carey Mulligan had been cast for the part of Daisy. As the story goes, she was chosen over Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightly, and Natalie Portman, just to name a few. Win! While I don't deny the acting ability of any of those three, I think Mulligan really will be perfect for the part. And I've had time to think about this; when I was studying media at university, I used to dream of remaking The Great Gatsby. I thought about the fashion and sound track but most of all the casting, pondering who would be the best Daisy, or Nick, or Gatsby. Leonardo DiCaprio has been cast as Gatsby and I am pleased. While I also imagined someone as bit more damaged seeming, like a great bottle of wine, DiCaprio has gotten better and better with time. 

However, I was greatly disturbed and put off when I learned that Toby Maguire had been cast for the part of Nick Carraway. The casting choice was released months ago and I'm still wrestling with it. I always envisioned Jake Gyllenhaal. Nick Carraway being the narrator, one would have hoped Luhrmann would have picked someone with a lower, cooler, voice. Sigh. Unfortunately Maguire's casting isn't the only alarming piece of info; in the last few days I've read that Luhrmann not only plans to make the film in 3D, but he also plans to film in Australia. Be still my heart but obviously not in a good way. Nevertheless, I'm sure I will be at the theater when it opens if for nothing else but to scrutinize. I am also sure there will be a lot more to tell as it gets closer to the release. 

". . . one autumn night, five years before, they had been walking down the street when the leaves were falling, and they came to a place where there were no trees and the sidewalk was white with moonlight. They stopped here and turned toward each other. Now it was a cool night with that mysterious excitement in it which comes at the two changes of the year. The quiet lights in the houses were humming out into the darkness and there was a stir and bustle among the stars. Out of the corner of his eye Gatsby saw that the blocks of the sidewalks really formed a ladder and mounted to a secret place above the trees—he could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder." 
The Great Gatsby 


  1. Great post, "old sport". :)

  2. This would be good, however, I need to read the book.
    I do love a good movie, I feel so out of it, because I don't know all these actors you named but one "Leonardo DiCaprio" and I do agree, he's getting better and better.I'm getting old or I need to get out more...hehehe.
    Have a great day dear.

  3. I agree, Toby McGuire would not be my pick for Nick. And 3D? WHY??? It just seems so TACKY for that movie...

  4. Hmm...3D? Haha. Interesting choice... it ought to be a pretty movie visually though, if Baz is doing it. And like you said, you can always have fun scrutinizing. (I had my heart set on a movie based on my favorite book too, and when it came out this year it was just awful, so the only thing I could enjoy about it was picking it apart.)

    It is fun to imagine making movies out of books though, isn't it? Who would you pick to be the composer?

  5. Yes, I'm still reeling after hearing about the 3d. For Avatar, 3d showed off the amazing new capabilities we have with film. For Alice in Wonderland, it captured the craziness of the story and in The Lovely Bones it enabled the author's descriptions of Heaven to be captured beyond the imagination of the reader but actually in film form. I just don't see why it's necessary in one of the most prominent examples of realism in literature. But we shall see. I agree with you though Emily; it should have some good elements since Baz is doing it. If I were doing the music, I would do a careful mix of bluszy tunes from the 20s and some contemporary ones that fit. The Killers and The Kooks for instance. Using contemporary music in a period piece has to be done artfully.

  6. Who would you cast for Jordan Baker? Maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal?

  7. I have not yet read The Great Gatsby, but just found it on our bookshelf. Now I have to choose if I will read it or watch it first. The two sound like they will be very different!

  8. I'm thankful to know that there's someone else out there who thinks that Tobey Maguire is a TERRIBLE choice for Nick Carraway! My choice for Nick would have been Edward Norton or Joseph Gordon Levitt. Jake would have been a good choice too! Jordan Baker is being played by some Aussie no-name Elizabeth Debicki; here's hoping she measures up (she probably won't). I have to disagree with Carey Mulligan as Daisy though, there were so many better choices.