Letter: Critic missed mark on ‘Gatsby’

In his column on forthcoming summer movies in the ADN’s “Play” section (May 10), Newsday’s Rafer Guzmán seems confused.

First, he can’t decide what “The Great Gatsby” is about. At one moment he calls it a “tale of money and unhappiness” and at another, “Fitzgerald’s novel about wealth and scandal.” 

Then he locates the action of the novel on Long Island when important parts of it take place in Manhattan and elsewhere.

Next he says that Baz Luhrmann’s version will be the “fourth adaptation” when it’s actually the fifth — with earlier film versions in 1926, 1949, 1974, and 2000. 

Finally, Mr. Guzmán asks: Will the 2013 adaptation be “the first to become a hit?” He must be young or amnesiac or both. The 1974 “Great Gatsby” (with Redford and Farrow) cost only $6.5 million to make and had gross profits of the order of $40 million. It was, then, a commercial success. It also won two Oscars, three BAFTAs and a Golden Globe. It was then also an artistic success. Lazy journalism, Mr. Guzmán.

— Toby Widdicombe