Monday, April 15, 2024

“Gatsby” Scores Low 43% from Critics, But NY Times Likes It


Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” hits theaters tomorrow with some issues. On Rotten Tomatoes, the website for critics and bloggers, the movie has a low 43% rating. That’s low for the week, the year, for a movie that’s not going to be an action hit. A lot of the folks there slammed it, including USA Today. On a positive note, The New York Times’ Tony Scott liked it. And I agree with him. I’ve seen it twice.

Luhrmann’s movie is wild, but even in that there’s incredibly beauty and neat touches. When we first meet Gatsby at a party in his house, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” plays to a crescendo. It’s a grand moment. And in the end, the Gatsby story remains a sad and chilling one. Luhrmann never shirks the material. Scott is correct that “Gatsby” is not so sacrosanct that it can’t be played with. And Luhrmann has done a fine job.

But that 43 % with more to come tomorrow, isn’t good. This kind of film depends on reviews. So expect a slow start at the box office but, I think, good word of mouth that will build it over the Memorial Day weekend.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News