I've mentioned before the "Humiliation" game invented by David Lodge, where people name some great work of literature they've never read. (It works better if you, like Lodge, are a Literature Professor, and attend parties with your peers.)
But I've never read The Great Gatsby. But I have seen the 1974 movie, and now this one. So I don't think I need to, do you?
This movie was directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, and it is a spectacle. The PG-13 rating from the MPAA notes (I am not making this up) "some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language". Partying? Yes, there are definitely parties depicted here that you do not want your 13-year-old attending. In fact, if you're invited to one of these shindigs, I'd advise you to maybe take in the view for fifteen minutes or so while nursing a soft drink, then go home and catch up with Big Bang Theory reruns on the TiVo. If some of these people had taken this advice, they would have wound up far better off.
Anyway: Leonardo DiCaprio plays Gatsby, and he's just about perfect.
Everyone else is fine too, especially Carey Mulligan as Daisy and
Tobey Maguire as
Spider-Man Nick. Would it be a spoiler to
give away plot elements of a nearly-ninety-year-old book? Probably.
Suffice it to say that Gatsby learns, too late, the folly of social
climbing in pursuit of shallow women.
It's very good, maybe worth watching just for the amazing extravaganza Luhrmann puts together.