River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Great Gatsby - Tues., May 14

Well, now. The Great Gatsby rates three-and-a-half out of five stars in my movie-viewing mind. The reasons I'm rating it so highly are the gorgeous, lavishly done sets and filming, along with some inspired acting, and moodiness. Baz Luhrmann is a master at creating atmosphere, as you recollect if you saw Moulin Rouge.

Having never read F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, I think I lost the story in there somewhere. Unless the story is one man's devotion/obsession with a woman (Daisy, played by Carey Mulligan), then it was very clear.

Mystery and rumors surrounded Gatsby. Where did he come from? Was he really in the war? Did he attend Oxford University? Who is he? Is he a mobster? Bootlegger? Poseur?

Along the way, the Roaring '20's New York and Gatsby's parties in West Egg entertain, although they are a bit over-done. (I did not see it in 3-D because I didn't think it was necessary. The beautiful colors, parties, and scenes worked just fine without 3-D.)

As for more atmosphere, the scenes in Valley of the Ashes with the overarching billboard for Dr. T. J. Eckleburg portend menacing scenes. Adult themes prevail. Expect to see adultery, wild parties, excessive drinking, death, deception.

Tobey Macguire, as the narrator (Nick Carraway) and Gatsby's friend, is exceptionally good. Leonardo DiCaprio is a genius piece of casting. I have not seen all of DiCaprio's movies, but of the ones I've seen, this is definitely his best leading role, yes, even over Titanic. In the scene where he has it out with Daisy's husband, he epitomizes the hurt and ugliness spurred by bullying which results in the release of pent-up rage. Quite an acting moment.

How does it rank compared to 1974's The Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow? All I remember about 1974's version is I thought it was very boring and slept through part of it. I do not remember the 2000 version with Mira Sorvino and Toby Stephens at all, so I probably didn't see it.

If you are an F. Scott Fitzgerald fan, definitely see this movie. All around me in the movie theater after the show, I heard people saying how much they liked the movie. Tobey Macguire as Nick narrated much of the movie directly from F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and the words flowed across the screen in some scenes.

At 142 minutes, you'd think the movie would become stultifying, but it is so effective in its mission and the entertainment value that I didn't fall asleep or get bored. I didn't think it was foolish or ineffective. All parts combined to make the movie watchable, even if over the top. But then, weren't the Roaring '20's a bit over the top?

Welcome to Shoeless Joe who writes the blog Travlin' with John. I'm so happy to see you here!


  1. I have read both good and bad reviews about The Great Gatsby. I have been trying to decide if we should go see it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I read the book in high school. Robert Redford played Gatsby in the first movie. We watched that in school after reading the book. I enjoyed it. I have not seen the new movie.

  3. Phew! I'm glad I'm not the only one who never read the Great Gatsby. When I tell people that, they look at me like I have three heads. And yes, I did graduate high school (barely). ;c)

    1. In our high school we had the choice to take English Lit or World Lit. I chose World Lit. and read Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, A Tale of Two Cities and others. So, no, I never had The Great Gatsby as an assignment. I may read it now that I've seen the movie.

  4. Thanks for the review! Sounds like something I would enjoy.

  5. Susan you're on "no-reply," and you have no email address in your profile, so I'll respond to your comments on my blog here. Thanks for visiting - and I hope you DO get to come to Yellowstone next summer! As for the river Don was checking out, the Gibbon is great fishing almost its entire length- he's fished it the past three times we were here. Yes, there are places where some hot springs dribble down into it, but not enough to make it a hot river. The Firehole is a hot river - and is off limits to fishing for several miles due to the hot springs and geysers that are on its banks. As for Mt. Washburn, yes, it's still snowed in. You can't take the road from Canyon to Norris due to the snow and road construction. I bet that view you had was gorgeous!


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