Notes On The New “Great Gatsby” Trailer

1. Baz Luhrmann will not rest until he has added a jazzy soundtrack and frenetic closeups to every significant period of modern Western history.

2. I cannot decide if the odd, high-pitched accent Leonardo DiCaprio uses is excusable because Gatsby was accused of faking, mostly badly, an English accent to mask his own Midwestern one or not. His jaw moves frenetically, as if he is attempting to imitate Katharine Hepburn while also being turned into stone.

3. Tobey Maguire can pull off “nervous but quietly excited” better than almost any other actor I can think of.

4. The ship backdrop they used in the flashback scenes looks incredibly fake; conversely, the actor they hired to play young Leonardo DiCaprio looks like he was transported from the set of Growing Pains circa 1993.

5. I had to rewatch the big party sequence at :38 four times to figure out whether the zebra in the pool was real or stuffed. It’s stuffed. Quite possibly a nod to the Neptune Pool and the wild zebras at Hearst Castle.

6. Every time DiCaprio mentions something he’s done in his life (“collecting jewels…hunting big game…then came the war”) we are shown an immediate representation onscreen (a hand flinging diamonds away, DiCaprio standing between two elephant tusks, men with bayonets in a trench) in case we didn’t understand what he was saying.

7. The Jazz Age seems exhausting.

8. The parties and the house and the car look appropriately vulgar, but so did Bright Young Things, and they did it without the cutesy anachronisms.

9. Every square inch of Carey Mulligan has been Bedazzled.

10. It might be worth seeing this movie just for Amitabh Bachchan‘s Meyer Wolfsheim.

11. They have done something very strange to the famous shirts scene. Daisy twirls in circles with a glass of orange juice while Gatsby chucks pastel button-ups at her from an upper landing.

12. Where is Jordan? The people demand Jordan.

13. The weird gilt filigree that surrounds the title cards appears to have some kind of Masonic symbol tucked away.

14. I am apparently still angry about Australia, as this trailer has unearthed a wild undercurrent of rage I thought I exorcised long ago.

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