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« Happy 50th Birthday, Meg Ryan | Main | It Won't Bring Her Back. »
Saturday
Nov192011

Mulligan and the Great DiCapsby

True Story: Last night I was walking to a birthday party with a movie-mad friend of mine and we passed a girl with badly bleached short platinum hair. She was wearing a showy vintage coat and her face was squinching up on the verge of drama queen tears. We turned to each other in jinxy double take: 'Carey Mulligan: Shame live in New York, New York!'

It wasn't Mulligan but the look was so spot on it could have been the Halloween parade.

Maybe you had to be there.

But you don't have to be there to enjoy this photo from the set of The Great Gatsby. Normally when an actress turns ubiquitous we get worried (nobody is right for every role) but after her hot mess spin as Sissy in Shame, so different than anything we've seen her do, maybe she can do anything.

Not that "Daisy", another 180˚will be easy to pull off.


I've always loved this description of her voice (the novel is short on physical descriptions but wonderfully evocative in terms of character).

"Her voice is full of money," he said suddenly. That was it. I’d never understood before. It was full of money — that was the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it ... high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl. 

More photos and such after the jump...

I'm still not crazy about this being made into a movie, despite my love for Baz Luhrmann.  It's my favorite novel of all time and so perfect in its original form; not all novels need to be filmed. But, that said, it's a smart move for DiCaprio in particular who could use the about face that this role represents.

Gatsby is such a glamorous role, a charismatic young millionaire -- the movie star of his social set if you will -- with a life of enviable ease and privilege (at least on the surface). Leo has been playing the opposite for a good long while now. After so many obviously anguished men of furrowed brow for whom every day is a psychic ordeal, can DiCaprio recapture his original movie star ease?

Daisy (Mulligan), Jay (DiCaprio) and Nick (Maguire)

Even if the finished movie doesn't fare well with audiences and critics (always a possibility: see Australia), it'll surely look as spectacular as Bazmark productions always do... even in 3D. Looking at these photos it's easy to see Mrs. Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin winning yet another Oscar isn't it? She has two already for the art direction and costume design of Moulin Rouge! and she's performing those double duties again for this prestige adaptation.

Next year at this time, how many Oscar nominations do you think the blogosphere will be predicting for this team?

Most people don't remember that there have been six film versions before this one. Only the 1974 version has any degree of fame (Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Sam Waterston in the roles now played by Leo, Carey and Tobey) though it's generally not the good kind of fame.  Despite its reputation as a failure that version was a box office hit (finishing in the top ten of its film year) and won both of its Oscar nominations:  Costume Design and Original Song Score or Adaptation. 

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  • Response
    Response: Augustus Beadle
    Looking forward to reading extra. Wonderful blog post. Will read on...

Reader Comments (22)

I wonder who will do the score for this movie. If this turns out to be great, acting and tech nominations are always possible. When I saw the costumes, I kinda understood why Baz is filming this in 3D. Lavish! Lavish!

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikhael

Have no idea how critics or Oscars will respond, but I do have to say Leo is looking fantastic. Maybe it's the suit and the hair, but hot damn.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

The only thing that really excites me about this Gatsby is Isla Fisher as Myrtle. I can't help but feel a little bored by Leo, Carey, and Tobey.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

^ I certainly agree, he's lost a lot of his appeal/hotness, but he's looking good here!


I had to read this book junior year of high school, but I didn't really read it and I was dealing with too much personal shit to enjoy it, but I know a lot of my classmates really did. This looks so good, and it kinda makes me wanna legitimately read it before the movie comes out.

Either way, I'll be seeing this! Yay Baz! And I agree, the art direction is looking gooddd.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

*That "I certainly agree" was to Ryan haha.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Definitely in my top five novels, and definitely not ripe for a screen adaptation. But if anybody can capture the rhythmic prose (the novel's greatest asset bar none), it might be Baz. Tricky.

Wonder if it's too late to cast ole Marsha as Myrtle Wilson.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

I totally need to read this book. I feel like i'm missing out on something.

I love and trust Baz so fricking much, but 3D?!? I can't seem to get my mind off of that. But i'm sure people were saying "but a musical?!" when Moulin Rouge was in development and look at how that turned out.

Plus, i LOVE the flower details on Daisy's dress. Baz really hit the jackpot with Catherine Martin....and Leo doesn't look tense or INTENSE so that's a huge plus.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck

Even though I totally disagree with the choice of Baz as a director (The Great Gatsby is a nuanced drama, not a carnival), I'm looking forward to see what Carey Mulligan is going to do with the role. There hasn't been any Daisy that's been captured with justice on film at all, in my opinion.

And I *love, love* that paragraph from TGG. There are three descriptive paragraphs in The Great Gatsby that I was madly in love with while reading the book, and two of them are crucial evocations of Daisy that I hope Carey Mulligan will remember to base her performance on. I'm feeling a bit nitpicky already though. Blonde Daisy? DAISY ISN'T A BLONDE.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

You know who would've been perfect for this role? Christina Hendricks, a really waif version of Christina Hendricks.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I love Luhrmann, but he is not right for this movie. I wish they had hired Ang Lee, who would be perfect for it, or Tomas Alfredson. Gatsby needs a subtle director. Luhrmann is fantastic, but not subtle, at all.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

//can DiCaprio recapture his original movie star ease?//

No.

Sorry, I'm half-joking; maybe he can but even in these photos he looks a little...intense.

Physically he looks terrific though - the suit is stunning, hair perfect, etc(although he could never ever EVER come near Robert Redford. Ever.) The costuming and hair on Carey looks, just cheap lace, and Tobey looks ridiculous IMO. I generally love CM's work except for Leo's suit I'm not impressed with what I've been seeing. they still look like modern kids playing dress-up for a school party IMO.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

DiCaprio should fare well with this. He'll at least look great. I still think Mulligan is too young for the part, but it will be interesting to see what she does with the part. I love that you pulled that passage about Daisy's voice from the novel. Farrow seemed to nail the voice, which was one of the few things I thought worked with the 70's adaptation (that and Lois Chiles wonderfully cool Jordan). The thing that gives me the biggest pause is Maguire. His casting is just a touch on the nose for my money. And based on these pictures, even if he's able to evoke the character, he may "look" sort of ridiculous doing it.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVal

I recently read that Rachel McAdams was considered for the role of Daisy, but lost out to Carey Mulligan. Just going from the pics, I don't see it...from what I remember of the novel, Daisy was an ethereal beauty with a certain je ne sais quoi quality to her, that ineffable something that made Gatsby so desparately in love with her. I hate to sound bitchy, but though Mulligan has the waifish looks down, she doesn't seem to look right paired next to Leo. She doesn't look like a woman that could generate that passionate love and devotion that Daisy elicited from Gatsby.

I'm wondering if maybe McAdams might have been the better choice.

Oh, also agree that Ang Lee probably would have been suited as a director for this vehicle. He's already demonstrated that he's great at literary adaptations, 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Brokeback Mountain'...etc. I think he would have knocked this out of the park if he was helming this.

November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Having got my master's degree in American Lit and having used Fitzgerald as my thesis, I can never see The Great Gatsby filmed at all.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I think the one actor who looks questionable in this movie is Tobey McGuire. I hope I'm proved wrong. Like Sam Waterston who played Nick so many years ago, he is a bit too recessive to bring any excitement to the screen.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

Why Baz? Why 3D? Why film it in Australia? I love the cast, and the book is one of my favorite, if not my favorite piece of classic american literature. But all this just seems too much.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternic

I think Baz works in Australia because he can work with crafts people he can trust and maybe can get some cost cutting deals with the Australian government? I'm just guessing here.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

@Val. Daisy is actually about 21, 22 in the novel. So Carey Muligan would actually be too old (!) but she looks fine.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

@Blinking Cursor Going for broke: Sofia Coppola and Scarlett Johansson again. Scarjo is that ethereal. Too bad somebody convinced her that she had to play the bombshell. She is beautiful and mysterious.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I have been visiting various Oscar-talk sites and forums lately, and I have noticed that Leonardo DiCaprio is deeply disliked by a lot of contributors. Hated, actually. Why is that? I have been really touched by some of his work, which is why I - pathetic, I know - get a bit saddened and bewildered by the hatred.

I´m not American, and I feel that there must be a subtext here that I´m missing. Could someone enlighten me, please?

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTellus

The thing that you wonder about Jay Gatsby is whether he's just a rich bootlegger trying to buy his way into the Nouveau Riche, and Daisy is just part of that, part of his ideal of remaking himself, or whether he's really in love with Daisy and she is a special specific person to him.

Now, I'm sorry, but by casting DiCaprio, you only get answer a) she's a symbol. Because DiCaprio has become too self-absorbed to play a romantic lead. The last time I saw him try to play a romantic scene, in that Russell Crowe movie, he came across as a kind of creepy stalker. So goodbye to some of the mystery and tension for both Gatsby and Daisy.

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Thank you Caroline!

Daisy was NOT a blonde!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
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