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Caryn James

Two Other Gatsbys, Two Better Nicks

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 6, 2013 10:24 PM
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The Great Gatsby is both irresistible to filmmakers and notoriously hard to adapt. All that color and glamour comes crashing up against the eloquence of Fitzgerald's prose and the ineffability of Gatsby's dreams. Baz Luhrmann's new version gives us a wondrous performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and a dreadful, flat performance by Tobey Maguire as the narrator, Nick Carraway. (You can find my review here.) But take a look at two better Nicks and one good, maligned Gatsby:

Aaron Sorkin Moves 'The Newsroom' To Fairyland

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 24, 2012 9:45 AM
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Aaron Sorkin has always had a huge, corn-fed Capraesque streak, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.  Even in his own day, Capra’s Americana was more willful than trenchant, but at least it suited its Greatest Generation era. Sorkin’s high-blown patriotic speeches, transferred from America to the glorified image of what was once Serious Journalism, are the main reason his new HBO series The Newsroom is so uneven and shaky. There’s so much that is good about the series – its intelligent characters, the zooming narrative that captures the adrenaline rush of breaking news, Jeff Daniels’ and Sam Waterston’s fierce yet grounded performances - that it’s disappointing to see how much goes wrong. The Newsroom is absolutely worth watching, but measured against its own ambition is a frustrating, partial success.

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