Friday, May 10, 2013

This weekend: Go splashy, Go glitzy, Go Gatsby.

Perhaps not since Ang Lee's heroic tackling of Life of Pi last year, has a director taken a literary adaptation and transformed it into something so personally their own. It's nearly poetic that that new work of transformation would be F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and that the director infusing it with refreshed cinematic spirit is Baz Luhrmann. It's also no surprise that both films leverage 3D to further pull you into their visions.

Back on April 10th, Moviedozer asked readers if Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby would be a must see or an also ran. (Will you pay to see this Movie: Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.) That question seems to have split audiences and critics in early screenings, but today The Great Gatsby hits theaters nationwide, so it's time for you to make your own call.

I've decided this is a movie not to miss. Though this may not be the "great" Gatsby, it will almost certainly be the best Gatsby committed to film so far, and it's sure to fascinate.

Perhaps the more accurate title this time out would have been "The Dazzling Gatsby". I'd guess that Monday morning will see more talk of the razzle dazzle than any other aspect of the film. And since that's been the style and promise of the marketing campaign, from posters to trailers to soundtrack and production glimpses, that would seem to be a fair result.

Director Baz Lurhmann next to the yellow roadster.
This is, after all, Baz Luhrman, and though casting will have to carry the day (with, I expect, admirable turns by both Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan), Baz Lurhmann is at the core of everything this Gatsby aspires to be. And, if nothing more, movie lovers have another opportunity to go to the movies and experience an accomplished movie director's true creative vision.

The bonus for you and for theater owners is, like Life of Pi before it, The Great Gatsby is a movie to be experienced in a movie theater, complete with a movie audience. And since 3D was part of Mr. Lurhman's vision, make it part of yours. If you're pushing your chips across the table this weekend, might as well go all in, so go to a theater that's handing out the dark shades at the door.

The trailers are over on the April 10th post so you can go back and take a look here.

Thanks to Warner Bros. for poster art.

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