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The Great Gatsby

Great Gatsby, The (Baz Luhrmann, 2013) wr. F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel), Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce; US/Aust copro; Leonardo di Caprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke, Jack Thompson

I think Baz Luhrmann has gone across to the Dark Side (where cinema is commerce, not art) and this is just another routine Hollywood film, so I'm surprised to see so many Australians in it. Rather than offer my evaluation of it ( = Jack Clayton's film, more or less—neither is very good) I'll simply mention the Oz cast: Jack Thompson, tokenistically cast as a shrink who may not be in the novel – I can't remember – but provides someone for Tobey [why the E?] Maguire to narrate to; Jason Clarke as the obsessive killer (who could not possibly replace Scott Wilson from the earlier film: he was unforgettably one of the In Cold Blood (1967) killers – but he is mindlessly scary here, as he was in Swerve (2011) etc.; Steve Bisley: love his work, but must admit I missed him completely in the film and would have to watch it again, which I'm not going to do this year, or next; Vince Colosimo, same, playing some guy over the road, even more tokenistically than Jack; Max Cullen I even more completely missed than Steve – at least I know who Steve's character was; Richard Carter as the butler, a one-dimensional actor I was surprised to see in such a major film: for me, he'll be forever some guy in Laurie McInnes's film Dogwatch (1999); Heather Mitchell, as Daisy's mother, always reliable; Felix Williamson, I think a brilliant actor, playing a silly small part as a servant with a ridiculous Franch accent; and finally Joel Edgerton, a seriously good actor, slightly miscast in the Bruce Dern role (Joel is not patrician enough, and a bit too angry).
Summary: BazMark and Village Roadshow may have had commitments - moral or legal - I don't know, which they have honoured as much in the breach as wisely; I am nevertheless pleased to see Aussies up there where the likes of Snowy Baker have gone before.

Garry Gillard | New: 20 October, 2012 | Now: 6 April, 2020