She is 28. Shown as Daisy Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby” by director Baz Luhrmann and production/costume designer Catherine Martin.
The Great Gatsby
By Michael Wilmington
Director Baz Luhrmann’s razzle-dazzle, ultra-snazzy movie of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age masterpiece, “The Great Gatsby” – which has been unjustly trashed by a number of critics – is a sometimes sensational movie that may not match the aesthetic brilliance and roaring ’20s allure of the book. (How could it? )
But it gives us plenty to enjoy anyway: a great story, much of Fitzgerald’s matchlessly lyrical narration and memorable dialogue, and a strong cast. Leonardo DiCaprio makes one of the best Gatsbys possible in a part that now seems perfect for him. Tobey Maguire plays Nick Caraway, Carey Mulligan is Daisy Buchanan and Joel Edgerton is her husband Tom.
There’s also a truly spectacular visual realization – by Luhrmann and his wife, Catherine Martin, who is the film’s production and costume designer – set in a dreamy fabrication of 1922 Long Island and Manhattan (actually shot in Luhrmann’s and Martin’s native Australia) that knocks your eyes out again and again.
This is Luhrmann’s (and Martin’s) Gatsby, as much as Fitzgerald’s: a romantic musical Gatsby, a hip-hop Gatsby, a gorgeously over-the-top Gatsby for the new millennium. But Luhrmann so obviously loves and admires the book that it becomes not only a beautiful movie and the best Gatsby film adaptation of the several made so far (1926’s with Warner Baxter, 1949’s with Alan Ladd, and 1974’s with Robert Redford), but, for me, one of the best movies of the year so far. It’s also a picture that deserves far more appreciation than it’s getting from a lot of my colleagues.
“The Great Gatsby” opens today.
Mr E Man Noir Style AFI, Alec Baldwin, American Film Institute, American Film Institute (AFI) Night at the Movies, ArcLight Hollywood, Cinémathèque Française, Coco Chanel, COL•COA, Dashiell Hammett, film noir, Jacques Demy, LAVA, Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA), Orphans, Palais de Tokyo, TCM, TCM Film Festival, The Great Gatsby, The Plaza Hotel, Turner Classic Movies Film Festival
The City of Lights City of Angels (COL•COA) film fest at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles ends Monday night. On the slate are free screenings as well as announcements about awards and contest winners.
In the mood for a trip to Paris? In addition to the City of Light’s usual coolness, I found out about these two shows. Also, as always, there are noteworthy noirista events in New York and Los Angeles.
“The Enchanted World of Jacques Demy,” at Cinémathèque française, presents film clips alongside costumes, photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures created by artists who were influenced by the New Wave director. Closes Aug. 4.
A 200-foot long garden, created by landscape designer Piet Oudolf, marks the entrance to “No. 5 Culture Chanel,” an exhibition opening May 5 at the Palais de Tokyo. Coco Chanel launched No. 5, now a world-famous fragrance, in 1921. This show surveys art, photographs, films and music from that era, and highlights her plummy social network. (High-profile chums included Picasso and Jean Cocteau). Curated by Jean-Louis Froment. Closes June 5.
The Plaza Hotel in New York is hosting “The Great Gatsby Getaway” contest. One winner and a guest will win film-premiere tickets, a night at The Plaza, plus an f&b credit. The movie hits theaters May 10. Broadway nitty gritty: Alec Baldwin plays a gangster on the lam in “Orphans,” a revival of Lyle Kessler’s 1985 play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Closes June 30.
The American Film Institute (AFI) Night at the Movies, a one-night-only event, takes place Wednesday, April 24, at the ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 W. Sunset Blvd. This is a chance to see classic movies with the filmmakers and stars who made them. It’s a great lineup, boasting some top-notch noirs. You can also see the schedule for Classics in the Dome, eight films that will show early next month.
The much-anticipated Turner Classic Movies Film Festival starts Thursday, April 25, and runs through Sunday, April 28. This year’s theme is cinematic journeys. We at FNB will be out at this fest in full force, natch.
The Los Angeles Visionaries Association (LAVA) will host a Dashiell Hammett evening on Saturday, April 27, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (downtown). Hammett is remembered for for his contributions to hard-boiled crime fiction and his stand against McCarthyism. Join Hammett scholar and granddaughter Julie M. Rivett as she explores her grandfather’s controversial political life, his relationship with Lillian Hellman, and the decades of consequent troubles that have tangled Hammett’s estate. Ticket includes dinner and parking; cash bar.
Aero Theatre offers straight-up noir delight with Sam Fuller mini-fest, Fritz Lang night, Barry Sullivan tribute
Mr E Man Noir Style Aero Theatre, Alan K. Rode, Alan Ladd, Barry Sullivan, film noir, Film Noir Festival, Film Noir Foundation, Fritz Lang, Sam Fuller, Shock Corridor, The Big Heat, The Gangster, The Great Gatsby, The Naked Kiss, The Woman in the Window
The Aero Theatre in Santa Monica has some terrific noir offerings, starting this weekend. First up, an homage to a master: Underworld U.S.A.: The Pulpy Heart of Sam Fuller Cinema. Highlights of the series include: “Shock Corridor,” “Pickup on South Street,” “Underworld U.S.A.” and “The Naked Kiss.”
As part of Monday Night Mysteries, on Aug. 27, there’s a Fritz Lang double feature, starting with a new 35mm print of “The Big Heat,” starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin, followed by “The Woman in the Window,” in which Edward G. Robinson risks his cozy life as a college professor to have an affair with Joan Bennett.
If you missed Alan Ladd’s noir-tinged take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby” at this year’s Film Noir Festival, you have a second chance to see the film on Wednesday, Aug. 29. “Gatsby,” which, in addition to Ladd, stars Barry Sullivan as Tom Buchanan, is paired with another Sullivan vehicle, “The Gangster,” to mark the centennial of the actor’s birth. Special guests scheduled to attend on Wednesday are the actor’s daughter Jenny Sullivan and the Film Noir Foundation’s Alan K. Rode.
Mr E Man Noir Style Alan Ladd, Angie Dickinson, Castro Theatre, Dashiell Hammett, F. Scott Fitzgerald, film noir, Gloria Grahame, John Garfield, Michael Curtiz, Naked Alibi, Noir City X, The Breaking Point, The Great Gatsby, Three Strangers
The Film Noir Foundation celebrates 10 years of deliciously dark programming with NOIR CITY X: The Stuff Bad Dreams Are Made Of. The 10-day festival features a Dashiell Hammett marathon, freshly preserved 35mm rarities, by-popular-demand encore screenings, and special guest star Angie Dickinson. The fest runs Jan. 20-29 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.
Among the rarities NOIR CITY is presenting this year is a new 35mm print from Universal Pictures of 1949’s “The Great Gatsby,” starring Alan Ladd as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary hero. Universal is also providing a new 35mm print of 1954’s “Naked Alibi,” starring noir’s favorite bad girl, Gloria Grahame. Also on the bill are preservations of the 1946 classic “Three Strangers” and 1950’s “The Breaking Point,” directed by Michael Curtiz and starring John Garfield.
After San Francisco, the fest will travel to other cities with variations on the programming.