The Great Gatsby (2013 film)
|The Great Gatsby|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Baz Luhrmann|
|Produced by||Baz Luhrmann
|Screenplay by||Baz Luhrmann
|Based on||The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
|Music by||Craig Armstrong|
|Editing by||Matt Villa
|Studio||Village Roadshow Pictures
Red Wagon Entertainment
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||142 minutes|
|Box office||$348.8 million|
The Great Gatsby is a 2013 Australian-American 3D drama film. An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name, the film was co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann, and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Amitabh Bachchan and Elizabeth Debicki. It follows the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby and his neighbor Nick, who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties. The film was originally going to be released on December 25, 2012, but moved to May 10, 2013 in 3D. It received mixed reviews from critics, but proved a financial success. The government of Australia contributed financially to the making of the film with tax subsidies.
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a Yale University graduate and World War I veteran, is staying in a sanatorium to treat his alcoholism. He talks about a man named Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), describing him as the most hopeful man he had ever met. When he struggles to articulate his thoughts, his doctor, Walter Perkins (Jack Thompson), suggests writing it down, since writing is Nick's true passion.
In the summer of 1922, Nick moves from the U.S. Midwest to New York, where he takes a job as a bond salesman after giving up on writing. He rents a small house on Long Island in the (fictional) village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious business magnate who holds extravagant parties. One day, Nick drives across the bay to East Egg for dinner at the home of his cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), a college acquaintance of Nick's. They introduce Nick to Jordan Baker (Elizabeth Debicki), a cynical young golfer with whom Daisy wishes to couple Nick.
Jordan reveals to Nick that Tom has a mistress who lives in the "valley of ashes," an industrial dumping ground between West Egg and New York City. Not long after this revelation, Nick travels with Tom to the valley, where they stop by a garage owned by George Wilson (Jason Clarke) and his wife, Myrtle (Isla Fisher), who is Tom's lover that Jordan mentioned. Nick goes with Tom and Myrtle to an apartment that they keep for their affair, where Myrtle throws a vulgar and bizarre party with her sister Catherine (Adelaide Clemens), that ends with Tom breaking Myrtle's nose as she taunts him about Daisy.
As the summer progresses, Nick receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's parties. Upon arriving, he learns that none of the guests at the party, though there are hundreds, have ever met Gatsby himself, and they have developed multiple theories as to who he is: A German spy, a prince, even an assassin. Nick encounters Jordan, and they meet Gatsby, who is surprisingly young and rather aloof, in person. Towards the end of the party, Gatsby's butler informs Jordan that Gatsby wishes to speak with her privately.
Gatsby seems to take a liking to Nick, inviting him out for numerous occasions. Their friendship furthers when Gatsby takes Nick out to lunch with his friend Meyer Wolfshiem (Amitabh Bachchan), a gambler who fixed the 1919 World Series, where Nick learns that Gatsby was born to very wealthy people that have already passed away. During the lunch, they run into Tom, Gatsby appearing uncomfortable throughout the exchange. Through Jordan, Nick later learns that Gatsby had a relationship with Daisy five years earlier, and is still madly in love with her, throwing his extravagant and wild parties in the hopes that she will one day appear at his doorstep. On most nights, he can be seen reaching out across the bay to the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He now wants Nick to arrange a reunion between him and Daisy. Nick invites Daisy to have tea at his house, without telling her that Gatsby will be there as well.
After a rather awkward reunion, Gatsby and Daisy begin an affair. Gatsby is rather dismayed to learn that Daisy wants to run away from New York with him, his initial plan being for them to live in his mansion. Nick tries to explain to Gatsby that the past cannot be repeated, but he dismisses the remark, claiming that it most certainly can be. Trying to keep the affair a secret, he fires a majority of his servants and discontinues the parties. Eventually, he phones Nick and asks that he and Jordan accompany him to the Buchanans', where they plan to tell Tom that Daisy is leaving him. Nick is hesitant at first, but Gatsby insists that they need him.
During the luncheon, Tom becomes increasingly suspicious of Gatsby when he sees him staring at Daisy with such passion. Gatsby begins to announce their love when Daisy stops him, and suggests they all go into town. Everyone leaves for the Plaza, Tom driving Gatsby's car with Nick and Jordan while Gatsby and Daisy take Tom's car. Out of gas, Tom stops at George and Myrtle's garage, where George tells him he plans to move him and wife out west, much to Tom's concern.
At the Plaza, Gatsby finally tells Tom that he and Daisy are together, claiming that she never loved him. Outraged, Tom begins to accuse Gatsby of bootlegging alcohol and conducting other illegal endeavors with Meyer Wolfshiem, explaining how Gatsby earned so much money. Pushed to his breaking point, Gatsby screams in rage at Tom, frightening Daisy. She asks to leave and goes with Gatsby, this time in his car. Nick realizes that it is his thirtieth birthday.
Later that night, Myrtle manages to flee from her husband, rushing out onto the street. She sees Gatsby's yellow car approaching and runs toward it, believing the driver to be Tom after seeing him in the same car earlier. She is struck and killed. Afterwards, Tom, Nick, and Jordan stop by the garage when they see a large crowd has gathered. There, they learn of Myrtle's death. Tom tells George, her widowed husband, that the yellow car belongs to Gatsby.
When they get back to East Egg, Nick finds Gatsby lingering outside the Buchanans' mansion, where Gatsby reveals by accident that Daisy had been the one who was driving, though he intends to take the blame. In spite of everything, Gatsby is convinced that Daisy will call him the next day. At Gatsby's mansion, he also tells Nick that he was born penniless, and his real name is James Gatz. In the morning, Nick leaves for work while Gatsby decides to go for a swim before his pool is drained for the season. While swimming, he hears the phone ring, and believes it to be Daisy. He climbs out of the pool while his butler answers the call, looking out across the bay at Daisy's house with anticipation. He is abruptly shot and killed by George, who then turns the gun on himself. It is revealed that it is Nick on the phone, who stays on the line long enough to hear the two gunshots.
When Nick calls the Buchanans to invite Daisy to Gatsby's funeral, he learns that she, Tom, and their daughter are leaving New York. The funeral is attended only by reporters and photographers, who Nick angrily chases out. The media accuses Gatsby of being the lover and eventual murderer of Myrtle, leaving Nick as the only one who knows the truth. Disgusted with both the city and its people, he leaves New York. He takes a final walk through Gatsby's deserted mansion, standing out on the dock for the last time. Back in the sanatorium, he finishes his memoir and titles it "Gatsby", but not long before adding to it with pen, ultimately titling it "The Great Gatsby".
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby
- Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway
- Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan
- Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan
- Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker
- Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson
- Jason Clarke as George Wilson
- Amitabh Bachchan as Meyer Wolfshiem
- Jack Thompson as Dr. Walter Perkins
- Adelaide Clemens as Catherine
- Richard Carter as Herzog
- Max Cullen as Owl Eyes
- Heather Mitchell as Daisy's mother
- Gus Murray as Teddy Barton
- Steve Bisley as Dan Cody
- Vince Colosimo as Michaelis
- Felix Williamson as Henri
- Kate Mulvany as Mrs. Mckee
- Eden Falk as Mr. Mckee
- iOTA as Trimalchio
Prior to this version, there had already been an opera and numerous film adaptations of F. Scott Fitzgerald's acclaimed 1925 novel of the same name. In December 2008, Variety magazine reported that this film adaptation was to be made with Baz Luhrmann to direct it.
Luhrmann stated that he planned it to be more timely due to its theme of criticizing the often irresponsible lifestyles of wealthy people. In order to commit to the project, in September 2010 Luhrmann moved with his family from Australia to Chelsea in Lower Manhattan, where he had intended to film The Great Gatsby. While Luhrmann was at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011, he told The Hollywood Reporter that he had been workshopping The Great Gatsby in 3D, though he had not yet decided whether to shoot in the format. In late January 2011, Luhrmann showed doubt about staying on board with the project, before deciding to stay.
In 2010, it was reported that the film was being set up by Sony Pictures Entertainment but by 2011, Warner Bros. was close to acquiring a deal to finance and take worldwide distribution of The Great Gatsby.
Luhrmann said the results from the movie's workshop process of auditioning actors for roles in The Great Gatsby had been "very encouraging" to him. Leonardo DiCaprio was cast first in the title role of Jay Gatsby. Tobey Maguire was cast to play Nick Carraway. Reports linked Amanda Seyfried to the lead role of Daisy Buchanan, in October 2010. The next month Deadline Hollywood reported that Luhrmann had been auditioning numerous actresses, including Keira Knightley, Rebecca Hall, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams, and Scarlett Johansson, as well as considering Natalie Portman, for Daisy. Soon after, with her commitment to Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo, Johansson pulled out.
On November 15, Luhrmann announced that Carey Mulligan had been cast to play Daisy after reading for the part on 2 November in New York. She got the role shortly after Luhrmann showed her audition footage to Sony Pictures Entertainment executives Amy Pascal and Doug Belgrad, who were impressed by the actress's command of the character. Mulligan burst into tears after learning of her casting via a phone call from Luhrmann, who informed her of his decision while she was on the red carpet at an event in New York. Luhrmann said "I was privileged to explore the character with some of the world's most talented actresses, each one bringing their own particular interpretation, all of which were legitimate and exciting. However, specific to this particular production of The Great Gatsby, I was thrilled to pick up the phone an hour ago to the young Oscar-nominated British actress Carey Mulligan and say to her: 'Hello, Daisy Buchanan.'"
In April, Ben Affleck was in talks about playing the role of Tom Buchanan but had to pass due to a scheduling conflict with Argo. Several weeks later, Affleck was replaced by Joel Edgerton. Bradley Cooper had previously lobbied for the part and Luke Evans was a major contender. Isla Fisher was cast to play Myrtle Wilson. Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki won the part of Jordan Baker, right after graduating from Victorian College of the Arts. When casting for the supporting role of Jordan, the filmmaker said that the character must be "as thoroughly examined as Daisy, for this production, for this time", adding, "It's like Olivier's Hamlet was the right Hamlet for his time. Who would Hamlet be today? Same with a Jordan or a Daisy". In June 2011, Jason Clarke was cast as George B. Wilson. Additionally, Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan makes a cameo appearance as Meyer Wolfshiem; this was his first Hollywood role.
The Great Gatsby was planned to be filmed in the New York City area where the novel is set, starting in June 2011. The director instead opted to shoot principal photography in Sydney. Filming began on September 5, 2011, at Fox Studios Australia and finished on December 22, 2011, with additional shots filmed in January 2012. Originally scheduled for a December 2012 release, on August 6, 2012, it was reported that the film was being moved to a summer 2013 release date. In September 2012, this date was confirmed to be May 10, 2013. The film opened the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2013, shortly following its wide release in RealD 3D and 2D formats.
In creating the background scenery for the world depicted in the film, designer Catherine Martin stated that the team styled the interior sets of Jay Gatsby's mansion with gilded opulence, in a style that blended establishment taste with Art Deco. The long-destroyed Beacon Towers, thought by scholars to have partially inspired Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby estate, was used as a main inspiration for Gatsby's home in the film. The filming for the exterior of Jay Gatsby's mansion was the college building of the International College of Management, Sydney, Some inspiration was also drawn from other Gold Coast mansions, including Oheka Castle and La Selva Mansion. Features evoking the Long Island mansions were added in post-production.
The inspiration for the film version of the Buchanan estate came from Old Westbury Gardens. The mansion exterior was built on a soundstage, with digital enhancements added. The interior sets for the Buchanan mansion were inspired by the style of Hollywood Regency.
The home of Nick Carraway was conceived as an intimate cottage, in contrast with the grandeur of the neighboring Gatsby mansion. Objects chosen adhered to a central theme of what the designers saw as classic Long Island. The architecture conjures American Arts and Crafts, with Gustav Stickley-type furnishings inside and an Adirondack-style swing out.
The opening scene was filmed from Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Unit in Concord, Sydney, only a few kilometres from Sydney 2000 Olympic Stadium.
Many apparel designers were approached in collaboration of the film's costumes. The Great Gatsby achieved the iconic 1920s look by altering pieces from the Prada and Miu Miu fashion archives. Martin also collaborated with Brooks Brothers, once a bestower of suits to Fitzgerald for the costumes worn by the male cast members and extras. Tiffany and Co. were also involved, helping to bring to life the jewelry, both from Tiffany's archive, as well as original pieces created for the film. Additional support came from Fogal for hosiery and MAC for cosmetics.
Catherine Martin and Miuccia Prada were behind the wardrobe and worked closely together to create pieces with "the European flair that was emerging amongst the aristocratic East Coast crowds in the 1920s"
Costume historians of the period, however, said that the costumes were not authentic, but instead modernized the 1920s-era fashions to look more like modern fashions. Most prominently, the women were clothed to emphasize their breasts, such as Daisy's push-up bra, in contrast to the flat-chested fashions of the era. While the book was set in 1922, the movie included fashions from the entire decade of the 1920s and even the 1930s. Many of the fashions from archives were concepts from runways and fashion magazines that were never worn by women in real life. Martin says that she took the styles of the 1920s and made them sexier, and was trying to interpret 1920s styles for a modern audience. Alice Jurow, of the Art Deco Society of California, said that she loved the movie, but most of their members prefer more period-perfect films. The men's costumes were more authentic, except that the pants were too tight.
The first trailer for The Great Gatsby was released on May 22, 2012, almost a year before the film's release. Songs featured in various trailers include: "No Church in the Wild" by Jay-Z and Kanye West; a cover of U2's "Love Is Blindness" performed by Jack White; a cover of The Turtles' Happy Together by the band Filter; a cover of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" performed by André 3000 and Beyoncé; a song called "Young and Beautiful" performed by Lana Del Rey; and a song called "Over the Love" performed by Florence and the Machine.
On April 15, 2013, Brooks Brothers premiered "The Gatsby Collection", a line of men's clothing, shoes and accessories "inspired by the costumes designed by Catherine Martin for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby". According to Fashion Weekly, "The looks weren't simply based on 1920s style: the new duds were designed based on the brand's actual archives [...] Brooks Brothers was one of the initial arbiters of Gatsby-era look. The actual costumes, designed by Catherine Martin, will be on display in select Brooks Brothers boutiques."
On April 17, 2013, Tiffany & Co. unveiled windows at its Fifth Avenue flagship store "inspired by" Luhrmann's film and created in collaboration with Luhrmann and costumer Catherine Martin. The jewelry store also premiered "The Great Gatsby Collection" line of jewelry designed in anticipation of the film. The collection comprises 7 pieces: a brooch, a headpiece (both reportedly based on archival Tiffany designs), a necklace, and four different rings, including one in platinum with a 5.25-carat diamond, priced at $875,000.
The exterior of the Harrods department store in London bears film advertising as part of its window displays.
Released on May 7, the film's soundtrack is also available in a deluxe edition; a Target exclusive release also features three extra tracks. The film score was executive-produced by Jay-Z and The Bullitts.
Penned by Lana Del Rey and the film's director, Baz Luhrmann, the song "Young and Beautiful" was released to contemporary hit radio as a single, and is being used as the film's buzz single. A snippet of the track appeared in the official trailer for the film and played during the scene where the characters portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan express their romantic feelings for one another. Hip hop magazine Rap-Up called the single "haunting", while MTV called it "somber-sounding". The track performed by Florence and the Machine, "Over the Love", references the "green light" symbol from the novel in its lyrics. Chris Payne of Billboard praised Beyoncé and André 3000's cover of "Back to Black", made unique with a downtempo EDM wobble. The xx recorded "Together" for Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming motion picture ..that the band’s contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack sounds like “despair”, and that it utilized a 60-piece orchestra.
Speaking of his goals for the movie’s musical backdrop, Baz Luhrman expressed his desire to blend the music of the Jazz Age associated with the 1922 setting of the story with a modern spin. Much like his modern twists applied in Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet, Baz uses the movie's music not as a background, but instead prominently in the foreground, which takes on a character of its own.
The Great Gatsby earned $144,840,419 in North America, and $204,000,000 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $348,840,419.
In North America, The Great Gatsby earned $19.4 million on its opening Friday, including $3.25 million from Thursday night and midnight shows. It went on to finish in second place, behind Iron Man 3, during its opening weekend, with $51.1 million. This was the sixth-largest opening weekend for a film that didn't debut in first place, the second largest opening weekend for a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio behind Inception, and Luhrman's highest grossing movie.
The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews from critics. A granddaughter of Fitzgerald praised the style and music of the film.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives a score of 49% based on reviews from 253 critics. The site commented that "while certainly ambitious—and every bit as visually dazzling as one might expect—Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby emphasizes visual splendor at the expense of its source material's vibrant heart." Metacritic gives the film a score of 55 indicating "mixed or average reviews", based on 45 reviews by critics.
Among major critics, Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal felt the elaborate production designs were a misfire and what was "intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul." The Chicago Reader review felt "Luhrmann is exactly the wrong person to adapt such a delicately rendered story, and his 3D feature plays like a ghastly Roaring 20s blowout at a sorority house." The positive reviews included A. O. Scott of The New York Times, who felt the adaptation was "a lot of fun" and "less a conventional movie adaptation than a splashy, trashy opera, a wayward, lavishly theatrical celebration of the emotional and material extravagance that Fitzgerald surveyed with fascinated ambivalence"; Scott advised "the best way to enjoy the film is to put aside whatever literary agenda you are tempted to bring with you." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe reserved special praise for Leonardo DiCaprio's performance, saying "magnificent is the only word to describe this performance — the best movie Gatsby by far, superhuman in his charm and connections, the host of revels beyond imagining, and at his heart an insecure fraud whose hopes are pinned to a woman." The Scene Magazine gave the movie a "B-" rating, but praised the actors' performances, in particular saying that "the stand-out actor is Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan doing an excellent job of showing the character’s gruffness, despite the one-dimensionality given to him".
Tobey Maguire's role as Nick was given mixed to negative reviews from critics, with Philip French of The Guardian calling him "miscast or misdirected;" Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post saying "Tobey Maguire is his usual recessive presence, barely registering as either a dynamic part of the events he describes or their watchful witness;" and Elizabeth Weitzman of The New York Daily News saying despite "the wry-observational skills needed for Nick's Midwestern decency," the character is "directed toward a wide-eyed, one-note performance." Rick Groen of The Toronto Star star was more positive of Maguire's character, saying "our narrator, [is] prone to his occasionally purple rhetoric. But that imposed conceit, the image of a talented depressive writing from inside the bauble of his imagination, seems to validate his inflated prose and, better yet, lets us re-appreciate its inherent poetry."
Other film adaptations of The Great Gatsby include:
- The Great Gatsby (1926 film), a silent film starring Warner Baxter and Lois Wilson
- The Great Gatsby (1949 film), starring Alan Ladd and Betty Field
- The Great Gatsby (1974 film), starring Robert Redford as Gatsby and Mia Farrow as Daisy
- The Great Gatsby (2000 film), a TV film starring Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway, Toby Stephens as Gatsby, and Mira Sorvino as Daisy
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Great Gatsby (2013 film).|
- Official website
- The Great Gatsby at the Internet Movie Database
- The Great Gatsby at Box Office Mojo
- The Great Gatsby at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Great Gatsby at Metacritic
- The Great Gatsby: novel and film information