The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published in 1925 and though it is now lauded as one of the greatest works in American literature, Fitzgerald died at the age of forty-four in relative obscurity. It is a commentary on the American dream and the Jazz Age as well as a story of love, dreams, and of our perceptions of the past. Nothing is what it seems.
The film has received some mixed reviews, most notably the article written by New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. The book is very dear to many and it seems that it's most recent film adaptation is one that people either love, or love to hate. Film adaptations of books are never easy.
Personally, I loved it.
Its conception, its design, the costume, the cast... it drew me in and I was entranced. Yes, sometimes the sequences were near spastic in their presentation, but Luhrmann created a fresh and imaginative version of the film. Had he done otherwise, the film would have simply been another hum-drum version of its predecessors. I also feel Luhrmann did well in presenting the brilliance of Fitzgerald's writing. Though I knew the story before I saw the film (and that it always causes me much heartache) I still had to hide welling tears towards the film's conclusion.