Movie: The Great Gatsby
What it’s up for: Costume Design, Production Design

I have never read The Great Gatsby. I know, I know…once you’re done gasping and such, we’ll move on, shall we?

I have never read The Great Gatsby so I had very few expectations or knowledge about what I was getting into. I was very pleasantly surprised with what I experienced. In a weak year for Oscar films, (in my opinion at this point after seeing 19 out of the 32) The Great Gatsby was both entertaining AND visually stunning.

The story of Nick Carraway’s summer of 1922 in West Egg and his adventures with Mr. Gatsby automatically lend themselves to an engaging plot. This version of the story is a modernized retelling that combines the 2010s with the 1920s in a creative and fun way. The modernization mostly happens through the use of music. Different rap, hip-hop, and modern popular music is superimposed onto scenes of flapper girls and bootleggers. And it just works. I loved it.

The costumes were amazing. There were so many costumes and so much detail involved in each and every one. They were beautiful. The overall production design was also gorgeous. They relied a lot on special effects, though, which gave them the ability to do grand things but gave it a kind of weird quality. That combined with some bad film editing and terrible sound mixing made some of the scenes kind of choppy and awkward. However, the set designs and layouts for different scenes were beautiful  and intricate and worked well with the story being told.

Leo, as Jay Gatsby, was completely endearing. Tobey Maguire, as Nick Carraway, seemed authentic and was easy to empathize with. Everyone else just blended into the background. It really wasn’t the best movie ever, but it was entertaining. Since I didn’t know what was coming, I loved the story. I especially loved the initial re-meeting between Daisy and Gatsby because they were so awkward and adorable.

Costume Design: I think this is basically a shoo-in.

Production Design: I honestly think it’s pretty equal with Her. I could see either of them winning but I’d pick Her over TGG.