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.


7 thoughts on “The Great Glitzby – Crikey review


    From the beginning of this blog post I was immediately captivated, and not just because it is a review of my review.

    The opening sentence is, to use industry parlance, a balls-grabber. It makes me now regret not using the words “sparkly clusterfuck.” They fit, hand in glittered glove, the extravagant turns of phrase used in the original article.

    Your review of my review impresses most is in its observation of the irony implicit in a piece of writing that — as you put it — is “as verbally heavy on glitz and explosions as its subject matter appears to be visually.” That’s an interesting observation (pushing aside, of course, whether or not this irony was intended) and it’s argued diligently.

    What this review — and more broadly the blog it belongs to — lacks is the production values to which, thanks to Mr Luhrmann, I have become accustomed. There are no flash animations. No auto play videos. No sound files to jazz it up.

    And, worse, not a single speck of computerised glitter.

    But regardless: four stars.


    It has long since stopped startling me that Mr Buckmaster spends most of his time on the internet searching for signs that he is read and appreciated by the faceless masses. He should read Matthew 16:4. He’s a man who has only relatively recently begun to wear spectacles and both the degree and rapidity of his macular degeneration tells the sorry onanistic story all by itself.

    It can only be envy that denied you, oh reviewer of a review, the fifth and final star which would have graced your constellation so well.

    Mr Buckmaster’s graceless demand for additional production values is sadly typical of his generation: while purporting to shun bells and whistles he pines constantly for the sort of bell and whistle-bedecked mobile which must have amused him so relentlessly in his bassinet and fed his increasing lust for such fripperies.

    His disingenuous desire to have us believe that the irony implicit in his review was intentional can only be the result of sour grapes from which on this occasion Mr Buckmaster has pressed a wine worthy of the fruit.

    Two stars.

    • This metaview has it all: Gospel indictments of youthful narcissism (“a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas”), accusations of disingenuity and envy, diagnoses of spiritual blindness and metaphorical self-abuse.

      Filled with pointed reckoning and rusted barb alike, the only thing keeping this excoriation from joining Alec Baldwin’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” ringbarking in the Rant Hall of Fame is its brevity. For this, Mr Buckmaster must surely be thankful, for the ego of any writer (including your Servant) is as easily damaged as a fluttering wing stripped of its mothdust.

      Four stars.

      • Erupting onto the meta-meta-review scene in a pyrotechnic orgy of linguistic Bacchanalia, Hankstar’s trajectory has descended into lacklustre shorthand in a bewilderingly brief span of time. The forthright, if bedazzled (or is that vajazzled?) erudition of his early work stands in stark contrast to the slap-dash brevity of his most recent effort.
        Two stars.

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