Blame the Classic Cars, Not Leo, If 'The Great Gatsby' Flops

Plus: A rave review that will erase any lingering doubts about 'Moneyball'

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Today in films: The Great Gatsby shoot begins with classic cars at the ready, Lars von Trier sells his unmade next movie to the Russians, and a rave early review for Moneyball

  • If director Baz Luhrmann's $125 million, 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby ends up being the lavish, wrong-headed disaster that bloggers like Will Leitch are anticipating, the production's willingness to buy (not rent) multiple classic automobiles valued at up to $3 million will almost certainly emerge as a cautionary tale for future filmmakers and studio executives alike. TMZ was the first to report back in May that Gatsby producers bought two 1929 Duesenberg Js and a 1929 Packard from the Volvo Auto Museum in Volvo, Illinois. At the time, nobody would say how much the production paid for the vehicles, although museum director Brian Grams did let it slip to the Chicago Tribune that the cars are "seven-digit vehicles." Why not rent, or only buy one, or use fancy modern movie technology to create the illusion that Jay Gatsby is driving an expensive old car? All reasonable questions. Filming began earlier this week in Sydney, and based on the production photos taken by The Daily Telegraph, the answer appears to be: so Leonardo DiCaprio could drive around the fanciest way possible. (That's Tobey Maguire--who's playing narrator Nick Carraway--riding shotgun.) [The Daily Telegraph]

  • Danish director Lars von Trier hasn't shot a reel of footage for his hardcore (but artful and important) sex film Nymphomaniac, but Russian distributor Central Partnership has already gobbled up the rights. Von Trier is expected to prepare a second, less explicit cut of the film to market to appease skittish financiers. Von Trier's business partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen tells The Hollywood Reporter that the film will be "very erotic but very funny also." It will also be primarily dialogue-driven, which is enough to make one wonder whether von Trier knows the first thing about making lurid "explorations of female sexuality." [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • When we first saw the trailer for the film adaptation Moneyball, we feared that director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin had taken a Michael Lewis book about everything and turned it into a movie about baseball. Those worries have gone away after Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells broke the studio's review embargo and delivered a full-throated endorsement of the picture. "[It's] my idea of a triumph," says Welles. "A triumph of surprise and deception, I should add. It's an emotionally low-key, thinking man's Field of Dreams ... What it's really about is the ecstatic, pure-gravy pleasure of watching a first-rate, award-quality fall movie that's made for you and me and everyone out there who hated Stupid Crazy Love, plus the holy-shit excitement of a serious, Oscar-level Brad Pitt performance." We're sold, even if the trailer did have far too much hugging. [Hollywood Elsewhere]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.