The film is faithful to the letter of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel but entirely misses its spirit.
In sum this picture is a total failure of every requisite sensibility. A long, slow, sickening bore.
The Francis Coppola script and Jack Clayton's direction paint a savagely genteel portrait of an upper class generation that deserved in spades what it got circa 1929 and after.
Director Jack Clayton seems overawed by the opulence of the production as well as by the mythic presence of Fitzgerald -- and the result is a film of shimmering surface brilliance and almost complete lack of focus or substance.
A literary adaptation that continually begs detrimental comparison with the novel, this relies too much on appearance, making little attempt to explore behind the beguiling '20s fašade.
The movie can't see this through all its giant closeups of pretty knees and dancing feet. It's frivolous without being much fun.
| Original Score: 2/5
The movie is 'faithful' to the novel with a vengeance -- to what happens in the novel, that is, and not to the feel, mood, and spirit of it.
| Original Score: 2.5/4