THE GREAT GATSBY TIFFANY & CO PARTY LONDON

Wednesday night was glamour night: Tiffany & Co, and Warner Bros invited a few hundred people to a pre-screening of The Great Gatsby to coincide with the screening that night of the film on the opening night of Cannes. I thoroughly enjoyed the camp exuberance of Moulin Rouge and was intrigued to see how Baz Luhrmann’s splicing of modern filmmaking techniques and soundtracks with the narrative of a classic – and much-loved – novel would work.

THE GREAT GATSBY TIFFANY & CO PARTY LONDON

The pre-party was at The Criterion on Piccadilly Circus, filled with orchids, twinkly lights and a party list of socials, editors and Tiffany clients.  The restaurant used to be at the heart of literary London: Oscar Wilde ate here, and Conan Doyle even set the first meeting between Holmes and Watson beneath its Byzantine mosaic ceiling, so it was a perfect setting to celebrate the film of Fitzgerald’s book.

THE GREAT GATSBY TIFFANY & CO PARTY LONDON

As darling Brigitte and I met – and cemented our friendship – in New York,  she was the perfect person to bring as my guest. We sipped Champagne in fabulous saucers, and caught up with friends from both work and home. We managed to miss the 20s themed dress-up photo booth, but I don’t think we could have looked anywhere as near as gorgeous as Milla and Dom.

THE GREAT GATSBY TIFFANY & CO PARTY LONDON

Then it was a quick march down Haymarket to the cinema, where we found popcorn and 3D glasses on each seat.

THE GREAT GATSBY TIFFANY & CO PARTY LONDON

So the film itself…any good? Well, no, not really. Tiffany & Co should be thrilled: the jewels in the film are ravishing, stars in themselves, and Catherine Martin’s costumes, in a collaboration with Prada, are, as usual, absolutely glorious, but I can’t help thinking that a novel like The Great Gatsby didn’t need the whizz bangs of a Baz Luhrmann production to make its point.

What the viewer experiences feels like two films sandwiched together: the razzamataz of the party scenes, (the parts you’ve seen in the trailers), all high octane Moulin Rouge-style extravaganzas, and then the straight acting parts that drive the story forward. But those are tainted not just by the exaggeration of, well, everything, but by the horror of the 3D effects, which become intensely irritating as the film progresses, trivialising Fitzgerald’s message, as type bursts out of the screen.*

I find myself agreeing with Sarah Churchwell, author of Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby who said, tactfully, on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row that Leonardo di Caprio’s acting would have won awards – in a different kind of film.  Luhrmann’s version of Gatsby is the ultimate triumph of style over substance.

Go see the movie because it’s part of the cultural conversation, admire the extraordinary and often brilliant production design, and dream of owning diamonds like Daisy’s. And, if your budget stretches that far, consider buying your own £155,000 Tiffany & Co Savoy Headpiece. Ahem.

The Great Gatsby Savoy Headpiece Tiffany & Co

 

*(The film is showing in 2D too: try to seek it out, as the 3D is appalling.)

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12 comments

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Pretty please can I come as your plus one next time? 😉 Thank you for the review, I must see it I’m even more intrigued now.

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That headpiece is breathtakingly beautiful! How amazing would it be to actually wear it?!

Lucy x

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It’s certainly received mixed reviews but I’m still desperate to see it. I haven’t read the book (don’t hate me) so I wonder if that’ll make me enjoy it more – after all the films are never as good as the books. If you haven’t read the book you’ve nothing to compare it to, so…

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I know what you mean when you say ‘style over substance’. The entire movie felt like such a literal translation of the novel, it was exasperating! The subtlety of the intricately layered plot that made the novel a classic was completely lost in all the razzmatazz of the production and yes, the floating text. The costumes and that one scene of the confrontation between Tom & Gatsby was the only redeeming factor.

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I liked this review. Your honesty about the film, despite the fact you’d been wined & dined and treated to a special screening, is refreshing – I can trust your opinion. There are certain bloggers who would have given a gushing, fawning review simply to get more party invitations.

I probably will see the film because I want to see the costumes and the production design but I’ll wait until the hype has died down.

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The film has had really mixed reviews which is a shame as there was a huge amount of anticipation for it and he’s a great director. But that event you attended looked impossibly glam! Wow x

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Thanks for your review, I thought as much so I wont bother.
Love the book too much to sully its memory! lol
Jx

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What a fabulous party! I was disappointed to see that my local cinema is mostly showing the 3D version and your verdict has made me even more keen to seek out a 2D showing.

Baz Luhrmann and Fitzgerald should in theory be a winner…I really want to like the film, but we’ll see.

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This film seems to be disappointing everyone 🙁 its kinda slum dunked it!!
but still will go to see it for the visuals. Thanks for the review x

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Ah, but in being a triumph of style over substance, you could argue that it echoes the message of the book perfectly?!

I don’t love the book, but all the reviews of the film have really disappointed me – I so wanted to love it…

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