In addition to the multiple handfuls of other things he's doing - we've lost track at this point - James Franco set some time aside to both watch Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, and review it for Vice. Yes, in case you were wondering, Franco enjoyed the movie. Now we can all move on with our lives.
Some highlights from Franco's film review - he's defensive of Luhrmann's vision:
The critics who’ve ravaged the film for not being loyal to the book are hypocrites. These people make their living doing readings and critiques of texts in order to generate theories of varying levels of competency, or simply to make a living. Luhrmann’s film is his reading and adaptation of a text—his critique, if you will. Would anyone object to a production of Hamlet in outer space? Not as much as they object to the Gatsby adaptation, apparently. Maybe that’s because Gatsby is so much about a time and a place, while Shakespeare, in my mind, is more about universal ideas, ideals, and feelings. Luhrmann needed to breathe life into the ephemera and aura of the 20s and that’s just what he succeeded at.
He enjoyed it in 3D:
There have been objections to his use of 3D, but frankly it’s a nonissue. It works, and is neither distracting nor game changing. You just deal with it because you want to. It’s fun to watch.
He saw a little of himself in the film:
Gatsby’s desire is revealed to be that of a 16-year-old boy: not only does he want to win Daisy, he wants to control her affections. It reminds me of my high school relationships, where I tortured girlfriends for getting fingered by other boys when they were freshmen. Just move on, dude. We are obsessed by his obsession but aren’t significantly moved by his accomplishment of the goal.
He also was a fan of Entourage, if this reference is any indication:
Fitzgerald had many reasons for being obsessed with Gatsby-like characters in his personal life (Monroe Stahr also merges business and romantic obsession in The Love of the Last Tycoon), particularly because Fitzgerald was unable to marry Zelda until he became a literary success. But Nick, outside of the action, doesn’t have personal stakes in the story, and while placing him in an institution raises his stakes, it makes his obsession with Gatsby even more convoluted. But maybe Luhrmann’s reasoning is that this sort of confusion is interesting, and who could fault him for that. Or maybe he just loved Gatsby and if they could have just gone on living side by side, just as Toby and Leo did in real life, all would have been fine. That actually sounds like a good movie, too. But I guess it’s been made—it’s a show called Entourage.
This has been your daily James Franco update.