Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Want to Know What James Franco Thinks of “The Great Gatsby?”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m interested in James Franco’s take on “The Great Gatsby” because of what this polymath who attended two grad schools at once has to say about the challenges of adapting great writing to the screen and the differing goals and audience expectations of a book now viewed as a classic and a movie.

The critics who’ve ravaged the film for not being loyal to the book are hypocrites. These people make their living doing readings and critiques of texts in order to generate theories of varying levels of competency, or simply to make a living. Luhrmann’s film is his reading and adaptation of a text—his critique, if you will. Would anyone object to a production of Hamlet in outer space? Not as much as they object to the Gatsby adaptation, apparentlyMaybe that’s because Gatsby is so much about a time and a place, while Shakespeare, in my mind, is more about universal ideas, ideals, and feelings. Luhrmann needed to breathe life into the ephemera and aura of the 20s and that’s just what he succeeded at.

A film, of course, relies on an immediate tension in a fundamentally different way than a book. And barring the most cinematic of texts, films developed from literary sources must run along a tighter thread. Once Gatsby’s mission of wooing Daisy back is accomplished, some of the wind is taken out of the story. We don’t really care about their relationship as much as we care about Gatsby’s overblown efforts to rise in social and economic status to get her back. And this is a universal and rarely accomplished goal that is still relevant today, made even more so by the director’s use of modern window dressing. Gatsby’s desire is revealed to be that of a 16-year-old boy: not only does he want to win Daisy, he wants to control her affections. It reminds me of my high school relationships, where I tortured girlfriends for getting fingered by other boys when they were freshmen. Just move on, dude. We are obsessed by his obsession but aren’t significantly moved by his accomplishment of the goal.



Previous Posts

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Stars Talk About the Film
Fandango has a great interview with the stars of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1." What was the toughest part for Jennifer Lawrence?  Singing! [iframe id='ifplayer' name='ifplayer' frameborder='0' marginwidth='0' marginheight='0' width='620' height='349' scrolling='no' src='http://www.fanda

posted 8:40:25am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned
Writer, director and producer Tyler Perry presents the unpredictable tale of a successful woman's life "gone downhill" when Tyler Perry's Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned - The Play is showcased on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and Video on Demand November 25 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment

posted 8:00:26am Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
It seems no different at first. While the second in the "Hunger Games" series ended with the surprise last-minute rescue of heroine Katniss Everden (Jennifer Lawrence), and the even bigger surprise th

posted 5:59:24pm Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Foxcatcher
John Eleuthère Du Pont was of the wealthiest men in the world. He was an ornithologist, a philatelist, a purchaser of military weapons (including a tank), a wrestling fan who set up a luxurious

posted 5:55:57pm Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Pitch Perfect 2 -- The Pitch is Back!!
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/KBwOYQd21TY?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Acca-can't wait.

posted 11:01:45am Nov. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.