Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Great Gatsby (2000)

The 2000 version of the Great Gatsby was a television film adaptation. It was made in collaboration by the A&E Cable Network in the United States, and Granada Productions in Great Britain. It was directed by Robert Markowitz from a teleplay by John J. McLaughlin. It starred Toby Stephens as Jay Gatsby with Mira Sorvino as Daisy Buchanan and Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway.

I have to say that this version of Gatsby left me feeling a little indifferent. Although it remains true to the lot of the book it failed to capture the essence of the 1920s. It feels a little low budget and fails to evoke the feelings that reading the book gives me. The flashbacks in the action were seamless enough and did not interrupt the action but they created a false sense of foreboding that made the viewing feel that the character of Gatsby would be almost sinister.

 Paul Rudd plays the wide eyed and boyish figure of Nick Carraway rather well but I feel he lacks any real depth as an actor.

I disliked Mira Sorvino as Daisy. I can't help comparing her to Mia Farrow's stunningly delicate yet vapid interpretation of the role in the 1974 movie and without meaning to sound catty I don't think Mira is striking enough to play Daisy. Mira's accent also seems to drop in and out, ranging from southern belle to english lady throughout the movie which is a little distracting and I can't help thinking of Romy and Michelle when I see her!

I quite liked Martin Donovan as Tom Buchanan.He seemed brutish enough for the role but I always imagined him as more of a hulking figure of a man. I didn't feel the same about Heather Goldenhersh as Myrtle Wilson she just didn't seem dynamic enough for the role and I couldn't see what would have tempted Tom away from Daisy.  

But I did like Francie Swift as Jordan Baker. She seemed the most indicative of the period and her demeanor seemed to fit the character well.

And last but certainly not least Toby Stephens as Gatsby. I dislkiked his interpretation of the character and found him more smarmy and gloating than the charming and complex character created by Fitzgerald.

The costumes and sets are not particularly reminiscent of the 20's. In fact the costumes seem a rather more inspired by the 1974 movie than the novel.

Overall this adaptation seems to miss the mark when it comes to converting Fitzgeralds classic american story to the big screen.