TV film review: The Great Gatsby (2000), directed by Robert Markowitz
Based on F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, this isn’t the recent Baz Luhrmann adaptation, but an older one. You have to start somewhere, right? And where better to start than with TOBY STEPHENS? Right? Right??
Anyway, Nick Carraway (Paul Rudd) moves to a little house by a lake somewhere outside New York City. Next door lives Jay Gatsby (Toby Stephens), who is rich and likes to throw parties.
Nick drives around the lake to see his cousin Daisy (Mira Sorvino) and her husband Tom Buchanan (Martin Donovan), whom Nick knows from college. At the dinner, he meets golfer Jordan Baker (Francie Swift), they start dating, and it all gets a bit complicated.
See, Tom is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson (Heather Goldenhersh), which Daisy doesn’t know about. Daisy, in turn, wanted to marry Gatsby once upon a time – because yeah, they’re old acquaintances – but shit happened and she ended up marrying Tom instead. Now both Daisy and Gatsby are keen to rekindle some of what once was, and Nick is caught in the middle, sort of.
To be perfectly honest, I thought it was meh. It probably works really well as a stage play, and it might work well as a film too, but I just didn’t care enough about any of the characters to pay attention. But then again, I did only watch it because Toby Stephens is in it (and is wonderful, but I would have expected nothing less), and I felt I had to watch it because The Great Gatsby is a classic, and as I wasn’t previously familiar with it, needed to remedy that knowledge gap.
It’s a shame it was just a bit … meh, period setting aside.
2.5 out of 5 flower bouquets.