What does a movie's release date tell you about it contents? Baz Luhrman's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's entry into the Great American Novel sweepstakes may give you a chance to put that question to the test. "The Great Gatsby" will star the sublime former Sally Sparrow and the increasingly overrated and overhefty Leonard DiCaprio. (What, did Brad Pitt turn the part down? Pitt's the only actor I can think of who is the right age right now who was born to play the great Gatsby...DiCaprio would be around 714 on the list.) What was originally scheduled to be a bid for Oscar gold come Christmas 2013 is now being rescheduled to make a play for summer green in 2014.
Not many movies released during the summer become authentic candidates for Academy Award honors. Yes, true, with the expansion of Best Picture nominees to as many as ten, summer blockbusters as unwarranted of Oscar expectation as "The Avengers" have the potential slip into the game. But we all know such a thing is just a dead fish tossed into the mix with the attention of creating the kind of subversive stink that attracts younger viewers not fully convinced Oscar voters are as out of touch as those who think WTF stands for "why the face?"
"The Great Gatsby" actually looked somewhat promising as a serious take on the book by Luhrman judging from the initial trailer. The sudden rush from fall to summer carries with it all the humor of Count Rugen twisting his sword slowly but threateninting at Inigo Montoya before making a cowardly break for it. What does a movie's release date tell you about its contents?
Let's play Kreskin for a moment. Gaze into your crystal ball or deal out your tarot cards or peer closely into that cup of tea that now stands empty before you. Use all your powers of Sherlockian deduction or induction or, if you will, just make a wild guess.
Here's mine: "The Great Gatsby" is going to wind up being a real crowd pleaser. If by crowd you mean summer moviegoers who only view Gatsby the great as English class torture. If you, on the other hand, are expecting a sublime adaptation of a tricky piece of literature-leagues better than anything Hemingway ever wrote but a far piece from the best of Steinbeck-then you are likely to be very disappointed.
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