The Last Tycoon (2016) – A Glitzy and Glamorous Old Hollywood Drama

Monday, December 12, 2016

In recent years, Amazon has not only become a number one retailer, they’ve also dipped their toes into entertainment. One of their most recent contributions towards that is this ritzy period drama inspired by the F. Scott Fitzgerald story.

One of the fresh faces of Hollywood, Cecelia Brady (Lily Collins) is persistent in pursuing her dream. One of which happens to be the attentions of Monroe Starr (Matt Bomer). Young, intelligent and at the top of his career, Monroe is everything Cecelia wants in a man. Unfortunately for her, he’s also unavailable. Emotionally, Monroe is still grieving the death of his wife, an actress whose story Martin is finally producing for film.

Further complicating things is the fact that Cecelia wants Monroe to take her seriously as a writer. She has good ideas she tells him even as he brushes her off as a mere inconvenience. Plus, as his boss’ daughter, Monroe isn’t interested in taking on any of Cecelia’s work. But all that changes when his mentor and boss, Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer) sidelines the one project that he cannot let go – his wife’s biopic.

Truth be told, this pilot dazzled me. Saying anything else wouldn’t be the truth, and as I always want to review with honesty, in short, that’s my reaction. I was swept up in this world before 5 minutes passed, and couldn’t wait to experience what was around the corner. The scripting is a blend of romance, mystery and “vintage” that immediately pulls its viewer into its web. Or it did me.

Beyond the tapestry of secrets it weaves, there is, unfortunately, one big misstep that might have ruined it for me moving forward. My greatest argument with the series is the 180 change of one of its characters. Maybe it’s because I’m a romantic or I crave a hero who, though flawed, is above board morally. Is this a dream that will remain unfulfilled given today’s entertainment? Probably. But a girl can hope. The big “reveal” happens in the final minute of the episode and for me, it kind of ruined all the starry-eyed potential I had of this character.

The cast is among the best including Collins and Bomer who share an interesting, undeniable chemistry. Their relationship is sure to be one of “back and forth.” Cecelia’s feelings for him are of a purer nature than what Monroe’s plans for her are. But given her optimism and sincere worry for him, I’d like to think she’s someone who can inspire a difference in him. Part of the reason I like these two in these roles so well could be because I’ve liked Collins in the films she’s starred in, and Bomer is a favorite from his days on White Collar. Costuming is beyond beautiful and really helps put us in the golden age of Hollywood. The sets are all about the razzle dazzle of the 20s, and also help in creating that perfect atmosphere.

In July we learned that Amazon has ordered The Last Tycoon to series, so I hope some of these minor irritations are ironed out. This has the potential to be a memorable and intricate little drama. Sure, the typical over-dramatized issues might get in the way of otherwise intelligent scripting, but overall, I see this with great promise.

Content: There are 2-5 uses of the f-word (plus a few other commonplace profanities), and some crude language/references. A man also pluments (from a high perch) to his death.

Photos: Amazon


  1. I loved this pilot, and can't wait to see more! I do share your reservations, but I still have high hopes for the series.

    1. I do too, Becky! I have SO many high hopes for this one. I was hooked before five minutes were passed. Here's hoping the next episodes are equally good. :)


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