The Great Glitzby – Crikey review

You didn’t need to be psychic (or a Time Lord) to see that the result of Baz “Nuance? Is that in Belgium?” Luhrmann attempting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork would be a sparkly clusterfuck.

Luke Buckmaster of indie Australian newshounds Crikey (go there, do it) confirms all of our most dire predictions here.

Golden quotes:

“Like a drunk clown delivering a eulogy…”

“Luhrmann has one style for directing drama, and it’s “Hallmark.””


“Luhrmann [looks like] a kid in a museum more interested in sucking lollipops and listening to his iPod than looking at the paintings.”

Final verdict:

“If you own a copy of The Great Gatsby, you don’t need to cough up hard-earned to see Luhrmann’s movie. The experience can be replicated quite easily at home.

Here’s what you do. Play hip hop loudly. Retrieve the book from your shelf and douse it with glitter. Get a (preferably gold painted) hammer and smash it repeatedly. Turn the music up louder. Throw on more glitter. Do it again. Do it harder. Do it faster. And don’t, whatever you do, pause to consider what the author of the book might think of the grisly, glittering mess around you.”

My verdict:

That was one of the best film reviews I’ve read since the reprehensible (and frankly, fucking dull) Sex and The City 2 (aka “grown man plays with Barbies for two hours”) was being hilariously and devastastingly torn to shreds by everyone in possession of a keyboard. While it is, ironically, as verbally heavy on glitz and explosions as its subject matter appears to be visually, the pyrotechnics don’t detract from the review’s main points – indeed they seem to enhance them, both by providing some well-deserved and colourful rage at Baz’s betrayal of a classic and by schooling Mr “Geez if only they had disco balls in the 1920s” on how to best use special effects.

The work competently and in a highly entertaining fashion lays out a detailed and convincing case for this not only being a typically ham-fisted and shallower-than-runny-shit Baz Luhrmann film, but an egregious insult to a classy and meticulously crafted novel, its revered author and anyone who ends up paying money to see it. Four stars.