Heads Up: Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald's Roaring Twenties – back on the big screen at last
Saturday 20 April 2013
What are we talking about? The much-anticipated screen adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s novel. It tells the story of Nick Carraway who re-friends his cousin, Daisy Buchanan and husband, Tom – as well as meeting a new neighbour, the rich and mysterious Jay Gatsby, who is known for his large, flamboyant parties for the rich and beautiful…
Elevator pitch All the glamorous 1920s style, seduction and secrets of the fabulously wealthy – and Beyoncé on the soundtrack to boot.
Prime movers Based on Fitzgerald's novel, the script is co-written by Craig Pearce and Baz Luhrmann – who also directs, so expect the bright colours, flashing lights and high drama of his previous films Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet.
The talent The all-star cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, plus Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and fresh-out-of-drama-school Australian Elizabeth Debicki.
The early buzz It will open the Cannes Film Festival next month, the same week it's released here. So suspense has really been building. Slant Magazine describes it as "both class act and sensory smorgasbord, given the early stills, which depict a more-handsome-then-ever Leo DiCaprio." Its influence is being felt in fashion circles too, and, according to The Huffington Post, the trailer has already had an impact on wedding themes this year. The HuffPo helpfully published 'The Ultimate Great Gatsby Wedding' guide.
It's great that... British actress Mulligan pipped a range of top-flight Hollywood stars to the leading lady post, including Scarlett Johansson, Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman; she reportedly burst into tears when the director personally called her mobile saying, "Hello, Daisy Buchanan."
It's a shame that... it wasn't filmed in New York, the novel's original setting, but rather at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. Although, Luhrmann has never exactly been known for his verisimilitude. Take that aforementioned soundtrack, a trailer of which has been released – alongside Mrs Carter, other distinctly un-Jazz Age performers include Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine and Will.i.am
Hit potential We've been waiting for years for this one … expectations are high. And even if hardcore fans of the book and Fitzgerald's oeuvre loathe it – which, to judge by much of the Twitter buzz, they are gearing up to – it's still sure to be a box-office hit.
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