If you don’t know what The Wolf of Wall Street is about, it’s a true story about Jordan Belfort who became a stock market billionaire by the time he was 26 in the 90s. He does a bunch of drugs and wild things, becomes frenemies with Steve Madden and then goes to jail. The end.
Here’s what you need to know about the movie:
Don’t make any future plans because you will be in the movie theater for the rest of your life. It’s long. I’m not complaining; I loved the movie – but to arrive at a theater at 1:45 and leave at 5:45 is a bit much. Some scenes did drag on a little – like one of Leo’s epic speeches, which I actually thought dragged on in the book too. I mean, move it along Jordan. Having read the book, I also knew what was going to happen (obviously) so when 2 hours into the movie they still hadn’t sunk a boat (spoiler?) I got a little antsy. But there are way worse things than spending 3 hours with Leonardo.
Speaking of my boyfriend, Leo is great as usual. We’ve all learned by now that he can play pretty much any character believably – but he may have been a little ambitious in his role as a 22-year-old Jordan Belfort at the beginning of the movie. They didn’t even try to Benjamin-Button him. But the movie is narrated by Jordan in first-person and has a little bit of a whimsical feel, so maybe it was supposed to be him like inserting his present self into his memories? Or maybe I’m giving Mr. Scorsese and his makeup team too much credit.
Prepare yourself for excessive female nudity, excessive drug use, sexually explicit scenes and Jonah Hill’s penis.
Jonah Hill is hilarious with his fake massive teeth. He is becoming quite the talented sidekick. First alongside Brad Pitt in that baseball movie I had no interest in, and now with Leo. If you can’t be the man of everyone’s dreams, stand next to him and tell jokes. Genius.
Matthew Mcconaughey has a 5-minute part. After reading the book and seeing the role he had in the movie, I figured they would extend the part for him. But they didn’t. Judging from his emaciated body, he was clearly still busy shooting Dallas Buyer’s Club (also good), so maybe he just wanted to hang out for a bit. This is really all he does:
His second wife is that girl with a Kermit voice from Pan Am, and she is a perfect specimen. I’d like to be her. I’d also like to remind her that we were once both at the same Rangers game so we’re basically friends and she should introduce me to Leo.
The real Jordan Belfort makes a cameo. I was like “hey I recognize you from your little face on the back of the book.” This is not surprising since he is obviously an attention whore and probably not that rich anymore.
The Great Gatsby has gotten some bad reviews, and I get some of the things they are saying. But, all in all, I was not disappointed with the movie, and I’ve been excited for it forever.
First off, it’s a visual movie – it’s two and a half hours of looking at really beautiful things and people (Leo). I watched the regular version, but it’s very obviously shot for 3D. I don’t really get why they would make this movie 3D, but whatever. I don’t fault Baz Luhrmann for taking this approach because he needed to find a way to reinterpret the story. Everyone knows the plot, and you can’t touch it. The 1974 version was a very literal screen translation of the text, so that’s been done. What’s left is making it look and sound different, which is what he did with the music and the visuals.
The one thing that wasn’t a huge fan of in terms of this was that it had some whimsical elements that kind of bothered me. Things like letters coming off pages and floating up into the air, and clouds becoming people’s faces. Get real, Baz; that doesn’t happen.
Gatsby’s house is a huge part of the story and it’s described as a grand palace, which is what it looks like in the movie. In fact it looks like a Disney castle. Even though the style is in keeping with some of the massive mansions you find on Long Island, I liked the house in the old movie better. It was more how I pictured it reading the book – slightly more modest and less intimidating – like Gatsby’s personality. But nothing in the movie is modest; that’s the whole the idea.
Even all the jewelry and some of the props were made by Tiffany’s, and cost thousands of dollars. The production of the movie mirrored the lifestyle it portrayed (they even spent so much money that they ran out and had to move filming to Australia, where Baz is from). But it works because you’re looking at actual excesses of diamonds and pearls and expensive cars and it sucks you in.
The plot was true to the book (but they skipped my favorite line, “her voice is full of money”), except that they have Tobey Maguire narrating the story from a mental institute, and at the end he finishes writing The Great Gatsby, which does not happen in the book. I thought it was a little weird, but I guess it was supposed to darken the story.
Leonardo DiCaprio was perfect as Gatsby, obviously because he’s the best. Carey Mulligan was good as Daisy but I still find her unattractive even drenched in diamonds and designer dresses. Baz just loves pairing Leo with semi-plain looking girls with round noses…
Jay-Z’s influence was also very apparent, not only through his music but by the emphasis put on Black people in the movie. I know Baz (I’m naming my kid Baz) said he wanted a hip-hop influence in the movie, but it was a little odd how there would just be random shots of Black people. Like when a car full of super fancy Black men and women zoom by jamming out to “H to the Izzo.” I think Jay-Z was just like “No, Baz, let me do this. It will be hilarious.” And it was.
The rest of the music worked well in the movie, and I was happy that Lana Del Rey’s song from the soundtrack was sort of the main theme song because it’s my favorite one.
Anyway really long story short, I liked it. The book is one of the most-loved American books ever written so it’s a big undertaking to re-imagine it. This version is loud and fantastical in Moulin-Rouge style. Maybe in 30 years the next version will be more to the critics’ liking.
I’m in such a Gatsby mood. I finished the book last week and watched the red (black) carpet premier on TV last night – which had I known was going on in NYC I would have crashed.
NPR has released a preview of The Great Gatsby soundtrack that everyone is talking about. The director, Baz Luhrmann, talked a little about working with Jay-Z on the soundtrack last night. He said he wanted to update the music in a way that makes us feel now the way people felt reading the book then, which at the time featured controversial black music – jazz. He also said he was introduced to Jay-Z by Leonardo DiCaprio just as he had finished writing “No Church in the Wild,” which seems like it could have been the theme for the whole movie and was featured in one of the first previews for the movie.
“…the film’s soundtrack, which like Lurmann’s previous ones both arises from within the film and stands separately from it. Some have wondered why, after Lurhmann enlisted Jay-Z’s help and anounced that his movie’s music would recast hip-hop as the jazz of our boom-and-bust era, only a few rappers show up on the album. But just as Fitzgerald peppered his text with references to jazz-influenced pop songs to show how that music became a lingua franca, so this soundtrack aims to show how hip-hop now deeply informs rock, dance music and the Top 40.” – NPR
The soundtrack features a lot of dark music, Jack White screaming and some fun songs like a jazzy version of “Crazy in Love” by “B” as Baz calls her. He’s my new favorite silver fox.
Listen to the soundtrack HERE
I’ve been revisiting classic books I read in middle school and high school. I read To Kill a Mockingbird and now I’m making my way through Catcher in the Rye. But what I’m really excited for is to re-read The Great Gatsby. Not only was it my favorite English class book, but the movie is getting closer and closer. I’m very excited because I love the book, I love Leo and I love sparkly rich people.
The soundtrack is also so up my ally. All I listen to lately is Florence and the Machine and Lana Del Rey. And the soundtrack is produced by Jay-Z who I’ll be seeing in concert this summer. Also Beyonce does a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” This soundtrack is for me.
My only problem in regards to the movie is that that Carrie Mulligan chick is like a less cute version of Michelle Williams, who we all know is not so pretty.
Trivia: The book is rumored to be set in Westport, CT. My hood (kind of) – I should have been cast as Daisy.
I’ve been excited for “The Great Gatsby” movie to come out, especially since I heard Leo was playing Gatsby. Now the trailer has me even more excited because it features my favorite lyrical genius song. Apparently the 20s were “mad real.”
I went to see “Titanic” in 3D last weekend. I wouldn’t usually rave about sitting in a theater for 3 and a half hours, but “Titanic” (or “Titano” and my little sister would call it) is worth it. When the movie came out, like every other girl, I was obsessed with it (and Leo). I got the soundtrack in my Easter basket, watched the double box-set VHS all the time and listened to Miss Celine every single day in my room. After all these years, though, the movie has become somewhat of a joke and “My Heart Will Go On” is an automatic “change the station, puhlease” song. But seeing it in its entirety again reminds you that it really is a good movie.
The 3D part of it is dumb. The glasses hurt my eyes and ears, and it doesn’t really add anything spectacular. The good thing about going is just seeing it on the big screen again and getting immersed in the story. It’s also a lot better to go see it when you’re not 9, seeing it with your mom and trying to strategically plan your bathroom break so that it coincides with the dreaded hand-on-window scene (I failed at that).
Here are some things that stuck out the second time around:
– When Jack gets behind Rose so she can “fly” at the front of the boat, it’s romantic. When Jack does it to his Italian friend, Febreeze or something, it’s very homosexual…and also romantic I guess.
– Leo has absolutely no facial hair.
– The Irish friend, Tommy Ryan, has the same name as my dad.
– The third class party isn’t as wild as it once seemed – just a typical Saturday night.
– Why were people so skeptical of old Rose claiming that she was the girl in the drawing? The vain old biddie travels with dozens of old photos of herself that look exactly like the girl in the drawing.
– I still want Kate Winslet’s sparkly dress.
– The spitting scene is still gross.
– The Titanic explorer’s gold hoop earring and his nasty assistant with curly hair and glasses are the worst part of the movie.
– I still want to believe that Jack and Rose really did fall so madly in love in two days.
– The music made me cry.