Baz Luhrmann’s new adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic is ready to hit theaters. I can’t say I’m super thrilled by what I’ve seen so far, although the 20s should provide Luhrmann with the visual spectacle that usually powers his films. I was more taken by this analysis in the Telegraph, which probes the possible reasons for the sudden onslaught of Gatsby adaptations:
“[T]he dream of money that will come to us, unbidden, and let us do whatever we want, and not spoil us, is one that has even more resonance in an age of £100-million lottery wins, of property bubbles, of financial deals that nobody could begin to explain, like the sources of Jay’s wealth. The other day, a nice young couple won the world-shattering sum of £45 million on a lottery. The young man, a painter and decorator, said: “I have often painted these huge houses and wondered what it would be like to live in one. Now I can find out.” It was the voice of Gatsby himself.
When we are confident, and booming, and full of trust in our own splendour, The Great Gatsby seems like a curiosity, an anecdote as it did to its first readers. But when things are going wrong all round, and we are trying to remember what it was like to live within a magnificent dream – to be deceived by what we want – then it speaks to us. It buttonholes us, saying, not quite attractively or in a way that we can trust, ‘Old sport’.”