James Franco Shows He’s Smarter Than You for His ‘Great Gatsby’ Review

Kara Warner
Senior Reporter
Movie Talk

Now that we know what what the majority of critics think about Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" and that audiences were ready to gobble up F. Scott Fitzgerald's roaring 20s brought to life by Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, giving it an impressive $50 million opening weekend, you'd think we'd be finished hearing about what people think of the movie. That is until we found out that actor James Franco decided to write a review of the film for Vice magazine.

Check out the full review over at Vice to get the complete Franco-on-Gatsby experience, but to give you a taste of what Franco has cooked up with his written opinion, we've pulled a few of his best comments.

Franco begins by telling his readers that anyone attempting to adapt a classic literary work faces an uphill battle.

"[It] was similar to what Walter Salles faced with "On the Road": how to stay loyal to the era depicted, while still retaining the rawness of the original text," he wrote.

"We allow the classics to get away with so much because we love the characters," he continued. "But when older stories are revived for film, the issue of the past and present must be rectified. But that lack was not a function of anything missing in the actors or the general direction as much as it is a result of the passage of time, the encasing of a book in the precious container of "classic" status."

Franco took issue with the fact that many critics, nearly half of those who posted reviews on Rotten Tomatoes for example, thought Luhrmann's goal too lofty to begin with.

"Would anyone object to a production of Hamlet in outer space? Not as much as they object to the Gatsby adaptation, apparently," he wrote, with a subtle nod to his fancy graduate degree from Columbia. "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."

Franco, Gatsby, Shakespeare, what an unexpected combo. Now all we need is for Franco to sign on to star in a different big screen adaptation of classic literature to complete the circle. Maybe Hamlet in Space?