Title: The Last Tycoon
Creator: Billy Ray
Rating: 4 stars
“I like people and I like them to like me, but i keep my heart where God put it; on the inside”
A lush drama set in the 30s against the backdrop of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The story centers on Monroe Stahr, one of the first wunderkind studio executive’s in the 1930s, and the power struggle between him and Pat Brady, his mentor and current head of the studio.
The narrative is a combination of fiction and reality. While there are references and uses of real films and stars, there’s also fiction involved when it comes to the personal stories of the main characters. Pieces taken from the real film business involve Fritz Lang, Marlene Dietrich who both make a very fitting appearance. I was pleased to see Fritz Lang, because he’s one of the directors who made me fall in love with the early movies of the 20s and 30s. Apart from them most of the other characters are fiction, but you can sort of say that they are probably based on real people.
Matt Bomer who plays the main character serves a great performance as lead role of the show. Monroe Stahr is a man with charisma and talent. His a likeable character, with depth and he has his own demons to slay. He was married to the famous Minna Davis and her death is something that haunts him throughout the show. Monroe Stahr is the creative brain that works in the studio and he makes people fall in love with films over and over again. He reflects the dreams he has on others and, in a way, makes you believe the impossible. Especially when he looks at you with those dreamy blue eyes. Monroe’s life starts to feel great again when he meets Kathleen Moore, played by Dominique McElligot. Her arrival shines a new light on the studio, but she also has her own secrets to be kept hidden between the shadows of that light.
Pat Brady, played by Kelsey Grammar is the owner of the studio and a friend of Monroe. His daughter, Cecilia Brady played by Lily Collins, works in his studio first as a girl chasing dreams. But soon turns out to be an important player behind the scenes. Kelsey portrays a realistic character of a business man, father and a man who created a dream of his own and will do anything to keep it safe. His character is one of those you will hate to love.
The Last Tycoon is based on the unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzergald. I don’t know much about this book but the adaptation to the small screen has been wonderfully made. Everything fits like puzzle pieces together. The costumes, the drama, the glitter and glamour. The decor is beautifully made and the music in every scene is so fitting. They used music from the 30s which couldn’t be more perfect to use in The Last Tycoon.
One part, an important part, that couldn’t be compared to the stunning scenes of all the episodes was the ending. It felt rushed, in someway fitting, but didn’t feel right. I have mixed feelings about the end.
If you are a fan of drama, the dreamy world around Hollywood and interested in the film industry, than this is definitely a show you should watch. I don’t know if there will be a second season. I love the way the story is told and it doesn’t feel like it needs another season.