TV Review: Like its Hollywood setting, The Last Tycoon favors style over substance

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It’s hard to pinpoint where exactly Amazon’s latest foray into F. Scott Fitzgerald nostalgia, The Last Tycoon, goes wrong. It’s certainly stunning to look at, with shadows and cameras and movie sets more picturesque than the films they’re apparently shooting, and behind-the-scenes players more attractive than the actual supposed movie stars. But where Fitzgerald focused on Hollywood as a manufacturer of innermost hopes and dreams, The Last Tycoon is satisfied merely to offer a dreamlike-looking picture.

It’s a sad epilogue for Fitzgerald, who died at the age of 44 working on these same kinds of films (as chronicled in Stewart O’Nan’s 2015 fictionalized history West Of Sunset). The unfinished Last Tycoon was his final work: 60,000 words that were about half of the projected total. In 1941, The New York Times said this about it:

[It] is the best piece of creative ...