Hollywood has been trying and failing to adapt Fitzgerald successfully for more than ninety years. And no one seems to be able to get it right, all adaptations being somewhat off key. Will anything keep this “Last Tycoon,” arriving today on Amazon Prime, from becoming another strident example? I watched the pilot, which has been available on Amazon Prime since last summer, and was a bit underwhelmed and unimpressed with Matt Bomer’s character, Monroe Stahr, a young movie executive who wants to make a movie but can’t because of the German government’s objection to the story. I didn’t buy the plot line until I did a little research and discovered that in the 1930s Germany was a huge box-office market and had a huge amount of clout in Hollywood. This bit of information makes the relationship between Stahr and his stormy boss, Pat Brady, played by Kelsey Grammer, believable and natural.
I plan to start watching the first season tonight and posting my thoughts. Stay tuned.
Update: My review posted on Amazon:
Matt Bomer’s acting can best be described as a cocky stare. Aside from flashes of anger, he has the emotional range of a turnip. I wanted to like this series a lot since I’m a huge Fitzgerald fan and teach The Great Gatsby every year. But this show tries too hard and never succeeds. On the plus side, the costumes are beautiful, but the acting and script are third rate. The whole thing is trite and boring as hell.
The look on Fitzgerald’s face above must be the result of his having seen this series from the grave.