The Great Gatsby

Forgive me if I appear a little confused here; as I am writing this on the back off of an unsuccessful quiz night in which my significant answers which no-one else could manage were:

The sequel to Bridget Jones. Where Justin Bieber was born. Identifying a song as Glee by the intro music and identifying a song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. All which managed to give the impression of me as a hopelessly sad character with a flair for the ultra camp; therefore you won’t be surprised to hear I’ve got quite the taste for Baz Luhrman films and The Great Gatsby is his latest glitz and glam offering.

We are muscling in to the fabled territory of ‘Oscar contenders that are no longer Oscar contenders because of release date issues and now will be a monumental flop’ and it requires commitment to get us through this difficult stage of the year where we realise our grand old friend Leo will probably be snubbed once more.

It’s day 4 of our annual preview and we must give the sparkly looking adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel the once over and try incredibly hard not to get annoyed by Tobey Maguire being involved in anything…ever.

For an irreverent once over of Gangster Squad, Oblivion and Iron Man 3 please follow the conveniently placed hyperlinks attached to them.

What Could Be Awesome About It;

Divisive he may be; but Baz Luhrman always brings an extreme amount of visual flair and colour to his films and his take on boom era US I assure you will be very different…Because you get the same but in 3D.

Your excitement of this film comes down to where you stand on the fabled ‘How Baz are you?’ scale. If you are in the ‘Quite Baz’ corner and enjoy his visual flair and his active form of storytelling then I imagine you will be incredibly excited about one of America’s greatest novels starring Leonardo DiCaprio coming to your screens.

If you swing towards the ‘Not so Baz’ side seeing this will be, what I imagine, akin to witnessing your own cats neutering done by Edward Scissorhands.

Despite my best judgements, I love Moulin Rouge and can stomach Romeo + Juliet as I find appreciation for how he appreciates his era. Moulin Rouge embraced the French night life and wild ideas of the Bohemian Revolution to create a world of high energy spectacle that took on some great times in interesting ways.

Luhrman’s tackling of post-war, pre-crash America is sure to be a luscious affair given true beautiful freedom and a heavy dose of social commentary in a relevant, post-bust, world.

On top of this you have Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role an actor who seems to be moving in to slightly more flamboyant roles after a heavy period tackling broken characters (The Departed, Shutter Island, The Aviator) with great aplomb. Whereas some may consider his starring in a literary classic another desperate attempt to woo the academy it is actually bold considering the director at the helm and his new occupation with taking on potentially unlikable characters. (Django Unchained, The Great Gatsby…Note: I haven’t read the book so if he turns out to be likable don’t shoot me).

The merging of Luhrman’s visual style with DiCaprio’s considerable acting talents moving in a new direction: this could be one of the best films of the year if done correctly.

 

What Could Suck About It;

Do I need to take out the ‘How Baz are you?’ scale again?

It is only rarely that you hear a modest opinion of Luhrman and this film is ripe potential for people to get their teeth in to his considerably edible hide of dislikable directing traits.

Furthermore the early trailers point you quite clearly in the direction of the films visuals which, although look stunning, aren’t a movie: and if this film becomes absorbed in its beautiful recreation of 1920s New York it will become every bit as shallow as the party goers it shows in the trailer.

See the trailer here:

PREDICTED STAR RATING: 4/5

I can’t help it: I have to admit I’m quite Baz. I’m also very, very Leonardo DiCaprio and feel like many of his recent performances this can be something that makes a good Gatsby in to a Great one. (…I’ll get my coat.)

 

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This article was first posted on January 8, 2013