THE GREAT GATSBY – A New Film Review


This is a great movie about a great novel, THE GREAT GATSBY, by the author F. Scott Fitzgerald. It tells the tale of one who’s forced to fake his past-and then flush his life now with stupendous financial wherewithal. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an outstanding role as Jay Gatsby. I just marveled at his acting-his moves, his voice intonations, the way he always looked. I cannot think of an actor with whom I marveled as much with his performance. Yes, his given lines were fine, yet: whatever  bazinga he would say went far beyond the lines.


Toby Maquire does a fine job as the film’s narrator of this mysterious character, Jay Gatsby, and his rollicking, frolicking Roaring Twenties’ parties. There was much new wealth in those days (made in those slick modern ways no one quite believes); and this film shows when it began. Folks made money fast, and spent it furiously.


There’s also an unrequited love story between Jay Gatsby and a sweetheart, Daisy, played by a fine actress, Cary Mulligan. Jay’s motivation for his acquiring his wealth and renowned extravagant lifestyle stems from his boyish hope he’ll impress her and the whole world. Both she and Maquire are two sides of the bookends.


I must admit that when the first scenes opened up, I crouched in my seat with my hands on my forehead– vulgarly bent from all those garish lights and aimless erotic goings-on of the multitudes- but once the characters started to come alive, I really felt honored to see this wonderful movie. The funny thing is that with all of the extravagant overindulgence which Gatsby exhibited- deep down I was keen to believe in him and his reckless pursuit to gain Daisy. (He had class but no diploma.)


I give a lot of praise to Baz Luhrmann, the guy who stuck his neck out to reframe the book in a way which produced a better film. When you’re treating a masterpiece like this great novel, you’re treading on holy grail- and it would be easier to play it safe than do what your instincts tell you to.


I think most folks will enjoy this film: as a tale about how the Roaring Twenties produced the age we are still in– when news began showing men (falsely) how they could live a fuller more exciting life if they could only acquire great wealth and true love with it. It always looks great to outsiders, who never learn till later that real work in life starts within.


I’m happy to say that this film merits an Eight. One way or the other– it works.

Happy Movie Going!

Humbler Acts, Creator, THE WIZARD’S OUTRAGEOUS SCHEME FOR STOPPING SMOKING, reviews one film every week as a relaxation from his speaking and writing on stopping smoking: through dream use and Seven Forces. He’s American and English educated, residing in St. Louis, MO. He can be reached: or telephone: 314-574-7681.


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