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Movie Reviews The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

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THE GREAT GATSBY (2013) starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name. A great American classic, this book originally received a lukewarm reception before managing to sell over 25 million copies worldwide. With this latest installment being the story's sixth adaptation to the screen, we once again view a cautionary tale of those willing to sacrifice everything while making a grab for the elusive American dream.

Set in the roaring 20's during a time when promiscuous attitudes and bootleg alcohol fueled New York's finest parties, Nick Carraway decides to hide away and educate himself on the rising stock market. Within days of his relocation, Nick is surprised to realize that he's moved in next door to the legendary Jay Gatsby, millionaire businessman and host of the city's most extravagant parties. Choosing to socialize with the elusive Gatsby after receiving a rare personal invitation, Nick and Jay unexpectedly become fast friends. Nick's cousin Daisy and her philandering husband also find themselves drawn into Gatsby's exclusive circle as the summer festivities ramp up to an unexpected conclusion.

With repeated themes of excess, decadence, and the conscious fight to squelch any hint of social change, THE GREAT GATSBY clearly speaks to a culture of privilege. This era of limited social conscience becomes tiresome rather quickly, the filming style of director Baz Luhrmann only adding to the audience's inability to find a relatable character.

As a spectacle, THE GREAT GATSBY succeeds where others are even able to compete. As a movie intent on drawing large audiences—it will not succeed. Although few men wear a suit and carry themselves as well as DiCaprio, Maguire's version of Carraway is somewhat muddled and confusing with his sexual ambiguity. PG-13, 142 mins, Drama, Romance, *** 3 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin June 01, 2013
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