It should though. With a top-rate cast and acclaimed director Baz Lurhman (of Moulin Rouge and the 1996 version of Romeo + Juliet, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio), it’s set to do tremendously well.
Like I said, I’m not a fan of the book. I’m more like an anti-fan if we’re being honest. But even I can’t help but see that this film has been almost perfectly cast. I just can’t imagine a better Jay Gatsby than Leonardo DiCaprio. I’m pretty sure I even imagined him in my head when I read it. He just emanates Gatsbyness somehow – all slick and suave. If I could give an award for Best Cast Character, Like Ever it would be here.
Tobey Maguire is very nearly as perfect, although kind of in the opposite way. Nick Carraway, the narrator, is a little awkward, a little fumbly, a little… odd and who better to play the shy loner than Tobey Maguire? Again, I can’t really think who could do this role better. That little lopsided smile. Bless him.
|Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson.|
So yes, I think the casting could make this film. But… Daisy. Oh Daisy, Daisy, Daisy. Fifty-six million other actresses were considered before Carey Mulligan was chosen to play Daisy Buchanan, so I’m pretty sure one of them would have been better. Okay, so not quite that many. But we’re talking Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams, Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johannsenn… lots of big-name actresses. Who got it? The woman who played Kitty Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Badly.
|January Jones in Mad Men.|
Personally, I pictured January Jones as I was reading it. She played Betty Draper in Mad Men, and to me, she looked and sounded perfect. I don’t expect the casting agents of major films to cater to my every whim, I just think that Carey Mulligan doesn’t look right and from the little I’ve seen of her, isn’t that great an actress either. I know, I know – I’m judging her before I’ve even seen a trailer, let alone the movie. But look at the photo near the top. She just kind of ‘clunks’ somehow.
To their credit, they seem to have stuck quite closely to the book. The dramatic ending looks to be completely intact from the images I’ve seen, although there would have been uproar if it wasn’t. I suppose The Great Gatsby is more about symbolism and atmosphere than actual story though, and the director seems to have put in a lot of effort to preserve that.
I’m not sure how well this will do in the Box Office though. Don’t get me wrong, it looks amazing, but I can’t really see how much it will appeal to non-readers. There’s not much action to display in a trailer, and thereby sell it to folks that don’t know what The Great Gatsby actually is. The trailer isn’t available yet, but I guess that will give us more of an idea.