Gatsby the movie? Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

I saw Gatsby last night, and it did not disappoint. I really only have one complaint that I can think of.

If you care about minor spoiler alerts, then don’t read this right now. Instead, you can check out this great article on the Fitzgerald family’s (positive) reaction to the movie.

I’ll start off with my one complaint: They cut out the scene where Gatsby sees Pammy, Daisy and Tom’s daughter. That is a powerful scene, because Gatsby wants Daisy to tell Tom that she never loved him. Not just that she doesn’t love him anymore, not just that she loves Gatsby, but that she never loved Tom. It’s that whole, you can’t go back in time, idea. When Gatsby sees Pammy he is forced to come face to face with the physical manifestation of Daisy and Tom’s love.

And. . .that’s it! That’s my only complaint. Everything else was perfect. There was one thing that surprised me casting-wise – I thought everyone was cast absolutely perfectly and they could not have possibly chosen better actors for their parts. But, the one that surprised me was Isla Fisher playing Myrtle Wilson.

Isla Fisher is the hot redhead from Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic. Mrytle Wilson is Tom’s mistress. While Daisy is thin, petite, dainty, light as a feather, Mrytle is the opposite: voluptuous to the point of being a little chubby, and she’s trashy. Daisy’s voice is feminine, soft, and “full of money;” Mrytle is loud and obnoxious and I would imagine her voice being a little shriek-ish. She’s kind of like a shorter, heavier Peggy Bundy.

Isla Fisher is almost too pretty to play that part, I think.

That being said, I think she did an excellent job with the role.

Anything minor that the movie changed from the book I think was a welcome change, and one that really added to the story. The one that is popping out in my mind right now is at the very end, so I’ll refrain from saying that, in the interest of not giving too much away.

Top Five Best Things about The Great Gatsby, the 2013 version:

  • The Valley of Ashes: The Valley of Ashes is something that I always had trouble really picturing when reading the book, and it was amazing to see it really captured visually.
  • The scene where Gatsby has Nick’s lawn cut and re-done, and flowers brought into the house, all in preparation of Daisy coming: It was so outrageously elaborate and hysterical.
  • The marriage of a modern twist with the 1920s time frame: This included the modern music that people were doing old 20s dances to – it sounds ridiculous and difficult to pull off, but it was done beautifully.
  • The cast: As I mentioned, I was surprised by the choice for Mrytle, but I don’t think it was a bad thing. Every cast member was so perfectly suited for their character. Leonardo DiCaprio’s charm, Toby Maguire’s passive, nerdy attitude. . .I don’t know of the actors who played Daisy and Tom – Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton – but again, they were clearly perfect for the roles.
  • Gatsby’s parties: The pomp and circumstance, the music, and the drunken violent endings. It was all that the book built them up to be and more.