Visually dazzling but long

The Great Gatsby Warner Bros. Rating: PG 143 minutes

Putting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel The Great Gatsby on film has always been difficult. There was a 1926 silent version (which doesn’t survive), a 1949 film with Alan Ladd and a very bland but visually impressive film in 1974, starring Robert Redford and written by Francis Ford Coppola. Not to mention an already forgotten 2001 TV version.

But this version of The Great Gatsby works most of the time. Australian director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) does indulge his usual excessive style, but it is seldom dull and some of the 1920s atmosphere is very impressive, even if overdone. Leonardo DiCaprio is very good as the nouveau-riche Gatsby, loaded from bootlegging and throwing incredible parties on his Long Island estate, but still unhappy and longing for Daisy (Carey Mulligan in a nice performance). Tobey Maguire is good too as Daisy’s cousin Nick who helps Gatsby and Daisy get back together for the tragic finale.

Visually the film is quite impressive, even dazzling sometimes, but there’s an overuse of computerized effects that really look like computerized effects, especially in the wide shots of scenic Long Island. Too much of it just doesn’t look real. Probably the 3-D effects do not help. But at the same time there’s a lot to admire in the film, especially the costumes and camerawork, although the editing is too hyperactive.

The film overstays its welcome, it just goes on too long, but there’s a some solid entertainment getting there.

Rating: four deer out of five

New on Video

It has taken awhile but Cloud Atlas is finally out on video.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

STARS launches 26th annual lottery worth over $4.5 million

Lottery raises money for eight new helicopters to serve Western Canada

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Legendary artist Amos Garrett heads to the City next month

Central Music Festival Society presents Garrett and Julian Kerr Feb. 9th at the Elks Lodge

City council wraps up operational budget talks with a 2.15% municipal tax hike

Budget talks completed after eight days of deliberations

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

Most Read