“The Last Tycoon” Pilot Review: A riveting tale of film, lies & the Hollywood way
Amazon has involved its fans and members in deciding their next show by releasing pilots for said shows and asking for feedback. One of those is the pilot for the show The Last Tycoon starring Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer and Lily Collins. The Last Tycoon, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name, centers on Monroe Stahr, (Matt Bomer) a studio executive in the 1930s. He is a bright and cheery people person with a hidden dark side. Following the tragic death of his wife, Minna Davis, he is fighting to make the pictures he wants to make and ones he feels will make a difference in the lives of people. The biggest opponent to his newest film, An American Dream: The Minna Davis Story, is his mentor and head of the studio Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer) who is complying with the commands of the Nazi Reich in order to ensure he can sell films to the German market.
Monroe is a very handsome man and wins the eye of every woman around him, but particularly Cecelia Brady (Lily Collins), the daughter of his mentor, Pat. She is a vivacious young woman; determined to get his admiration and love. Meanwhile and right besides all the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Studios lies a Hooverville settlement. This town is home to a bunch of downtrodden people just trying to get by. Pat is determined to rid them of the area so he can expand his studio when he meets Max Miner (Mark O’Brien), who instead of taking the proffered money, asks Pat for a job. This is by far one of the best pilot episodes of a show I’ve seen in a really long time. The set design and production is of great quality and care. The costumes are extravagant and beautiful with wonderful colors and make up design to match. Lily Collins in particular has some really extravagant elegant dresses, hats and colorful lipstick. The acting in the show is so superior to most shows on television now. In this one little episode, the range of emotion and depth to the characters and the performances are first class. The cast is stellar, has incredible chemistry and all fit their parts very well. Matt Bomer gives a great performance as an executive and grieving husband. The show has such an interesting appeal because it is historical and will appeal to history buffs; while also being very much centered around people and the film industry in the 1930s.
The story, of course based on a Fitzgerald novel, is great. There are moments of shock and surprise even in an hour long episode. It is definitely an episode that leaves you with your jaw dropped and wanting more. I can only see the show getting better and better from here, so I truly hope Amazon picks it up.