Adaptation #46: The Not Quite Oscar-Worthy Gatsby

header046Jess, Ryan and Kendyl talk about Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby. While the spectacle was enjoyable, they wonder if all the cinematography was in the film’s best interest. And even in concluding that it was a faithful adaptation, they wonder if seeing the characters on screen made them more likeable and question where Nick ends up.

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For more literature adaptation discussions check out our episodes on:

Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Cloud Atlas (novel and film)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (novel and film)


Music: American Dream by Switchfoot

Upcoming Films

Man of Steel

-Release: June 14 (US and UK)

-Screenplay: David S. Goyer (with Christopher Nolan)

-Director: Zach Snyder

-Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane

-Based on the comics by DC

Main Discussion

The Great Gatsby

-by F. Scott Fitzgerald

-Published in 1925

-Themes: Green light, the American dream, the all seeing eyes, the valley of ashes, flawed characters, jazz age

The Great Gatsby (2013)

-Release: May 10 (US), May 16 (UK)

-Written by: Baz Lurhmann and Craig Pearce

-Director: Baz Luhrmann

-Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey McGuire, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher


TUMBLR POST- People Magazine review

-characters more likable? Or at least, more forgivable?

-barely knew she had a daughter

-words on screen; weird overlaid images (Myrtle’s death)

-Nick in sanitarium?

-too obvious with eyes

-good quotes; except the ‘what preyed on Gatsby’ one

Stay tuned for episode #47 on Max Brooks’s novel World War Z!

6 thoughts on “Adaptation #46: The Not Quite Oscar-Worthy Gatsby

  1. Pingback: Adaptation #46: The Not Quite Oscar-Worthy Gatsby | dogaru20

  2. Hey all. Thanks for the shout out regarding my Star Trek feedback at the end of your great Great Gatsby podcast! Appreciate it.

    Again, loved your Gatsby discussion and again, we seem to share similar opinions.
    I’m really not sure why a lot of reviews have dismissed this film – blaming the overwrought party scenes, the lack of a ‘real love story’ and the overt 21st century soundtrack – to name but three.

    In this, aren’t these reviewers missing the point of the novel? The party scenes have to be shown as OTT because that’s exactly their point – Gatsby wanted to attract attention, to (re)attract Daisy. The love story that isn’t a love story – the loss, the longing, the failure to live up to expectations – well, that’s precisely real life. The use of 21st century songs – the point being that the parties were the most modern things going on at the time, where everyone wanted to be – probably impossible to convey in this day and age by overlaying jazzy/flapper songs of the actual period.

    I could live with the containing story – the sanatorium and the words appearing physically on screen – I don’t think they detracted too much.

    The Great Gatsby – not perfect but way better than a lot of reviews.

    Great podcast guys. Keep it up – always interesting and refreshing.



  3. That’s actually a really good point that I didn’t think of, Andrew. I meant to mention the use of 21st century songs during the podcast, so kudos for mentioning that. I wasn’t sure what to think about the music. On the one hand, I felt it was obviously anachronistic, and pulled me out of the 1920s setting. But you present a valid point in arguing that the music was used to convey the parties as the hype of the era, as ahead of the times.

    However, don’t you think there’s an additional danger in this of dating itself as a film? Those songs and music are not going to be the essence of modernity or popularity for very long. In a couple years or a decade, might not the music be disjointed as a piece of 2013 culture that is merely out-of-place in a 1920s film, rather than representative of it?


    • , will be amazing and farknly a lot of the people watching this film, will be watching it for the style alone. The actors seem like a great cast because they are all very successful in their own ventures. Although I saw Mr.Gatsby as an older man but anyways, the 3D aspect totally ruins it for me! I feel like 3D should be used for action and kids movies. Directors are over-using it so much so that it’s driving people away. You don’t need it for this kind of movie because the style and graphics alone are going to be visually stimulating! And it also looks a little too circusy. But besides that, I will watch the movie because I’m a sucker for art deco.


  4. First off, we LOVE that you comment so of course we’re gonna pay it forward and give you shout outs 🙂 Secondly, I completely agree that reviewers latch on to one thing and then miss the boat on everything else. I think as a team we try really really hard to be honest, but fair. If we think somethings not working will discuss why, but at the same time we don’t want to bash something into the ground either. On a slightly still related side note, I freaking love Jay-Z and just about EVERYONE who was on that soundtrack. No complaints here!


  5. Thanks Jessica and Nicole for the replies.

    Great point Jessica in that the ‘2013’ music will itself seem dated down the line. There’s no way round that is there? Well, short of some crazy Bowie Man Who Fell to Earth style totally futuristic score. Which, actually I would like to hear but not in this context. 🙂 It’s a conundrum – trying to be modern but that in itself ties it to a specific period.

    Nicole, I think your podcasts are all so detailed and cover plot points and digressions that most ‘daily paper’ reviewers never come near addressing. This is what makes your discussions so interesting: even for movies I either haven’t yet seen (with the attendant spoiler risk) or indeed those I might not ever see.

    Anyway,I’ll keep banging the drum for this version of Gatsby.

    I’m seeing Man of Steel on Monday 1st, so looking forward to hearing your discussion on that one and feeding back too!

    All my best



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