I know I am not the only one who was looking forward to Bazz Luhrmann's retelling of The Great Gatsby, so I'm wondering how many of you also went to see it on its opening weekend. Stephanie and I had been looking forward to this for months and since we were not able to celebrate her birthday last month, I decided that we were going to have date night - dinner and a movie. And that movie was going to be The Great Gatsby - really, what could have been better on a hot day for a very fabulous, very pregnant lady than an air conditioned theatre?
I thought the movie was BRILLIANT and Stephanie thought it was Luhrmann's best film yet. There was so much happening in this film that I will definitely be seeing it again so that I can better speak to the film as a whole. Seriously, the entire thing was fabulous!! I was so overwhelmed with how visually stunning the film was (par for the course with Luhrmann, which made him the perfect choice to direct a film set in the opulent 1920's), that I probably missed quite a lot. There's a LOT of glitz and glamour and parties and costumes and stunning sets and...you get the idea. And that's just the visual aspect of the film...
Seamlessly woven into the fabric of this film was the music. While I was initially skeptical of a contemporary soundtrack, I have to say, I do not remember one track that did not seem to belong exactly where it was placed! And the fact that there is so much variety in genres captures everything that you need - there are some hauntingly beautiful tracks that are slow and melancholy, overflowing with emotion, like Lana Del Rey's Young and Beautiful, Gotye's Hearts a Mess, and Florence + The Machine's Over the Love that just do something to you. Songs written for films are typically sub par, but the Florence + The Machine track is brilliant. 'Cause you're a hard soul to save with an ocean in the way, but I'll get around it. Now there's green light in my eyes and my lover on my mind and I sing from the piano, tear my yellow dress and cry cry cry...' It is written from the perspective of the woman in the novel that has had too much to drink and is crying and singing at the first party of Gatsby's that Nick attends. 'One of the girls in yellow was playing the piano...She had drunk a quantity of champagne and during the course of her song she had decided ineptly that everything was very very sad - she was not only singing, she was weeping too. Whenever there was a pause in the song she filled it with gasping broken sobs and took up the lyric again in a quavering soprano. The tears coursed down her cheeks - not freely, however, for when they came into contact with her heavily beaded eyelashes they assumed an inky color, and pursued the rest of their way in slow black rivulets. A humorous suggestion was made that she sing the notes on her face...' On the other end of the spectrum from these poignant tracks are the faster, louder tracks that convey the energy and feeling of freedom in this film. Jay Z's tracks are on this end of the spectrum and are front and center in the trailers, but I think Fergie's A Little Party Never Killed Nobody steals the show. It is PERFECT for the big party scene!! It manages to incorporate a jazzy feel and hearing Fergie say 'Believe me, I'm the bee's knees!'? Fabulous! If you're looking for some jazz, there is only one track that could really be considered a era-appropriate, but there are little jazz riffs and bits scattered throughout the various tracks and it's really quite fun!
Like I said, this is INCREDIBLY eclectic and as soon as I got home from date night with Stephanie, I downloaded the soundtrack and I love it! The music is great and because it is such a big part of the film, it gives me a bit of the feeling I had when I watched it. Many people were probably completely put off by the fact that this was not a 1920's album. And to those people I say, have you ever seen a Bazz Luhrmann film? That was never going to happen, and it didn't take anything away from the film. Instead, it added a lot to the entire experience - and that is what this film is, an experience!
Bazz Luhrmann and Carey Mulligann talk about the varied, contemporary soundtrack here:
If you want to know what all the fuss is about, here it is - the full soundtrack!
I'm somewhat obsessed with this film and until it is released for purchase, I will be reliving it with the soundtrack. Maybe this won't be as impactful if you haven't seen the film, but it's really doing it for me at the moment.
Happy Listening Dolls!