This is a film which takes classic source material and imbues it on screen with a sense of wonder commensurate to its prior form, perhaps offering an even more visceral impression of the possibilities inherent to this beautiful, tragic world.
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Luhrmann's vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he's less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste. [13 May 2013, p.78]
Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby has the hallmarks of a contemporary Hollywood spectacle. It's missing the explosions, but make no mistake: Gatsby is one glitzy misfire.
Shorn of its quintessentially American roots, a biting tale of adult extravagance becomes insubstantially tween-aged.
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the first must-see film of Hollywood’s summer season, if for no other reason than its jaw-dropping evocation of Roaring ’20s New York — in 3-D, no less.
I love the publicity quotes by Baz Luhrmann stating that his intention was to make an epic romantic vision that is enormous. Also: overwrought, asinine, exaggerated and boring. But in the end, about as romantic as a pet rock.
With the sound off, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby surely looks as radiant and extraordinary as some of the most dazzling movies ever committed to celluloid, but with the sound up and the experience on full volume, the movie is mostly a cacophony of style, excess and noise that makes you want to turn it all down a notch...or three...
More often, Gatsby feels like a well-rehearsed classic in which the actors say their lines ably, but with no discernible feeling behind them.
It's an expressionist work, a story reinvented to the point of total self-invention, polished to a handsome sheen and possessing no class or taste beyond the kind you can buy. And those are the reasons to love it.
No matter how frenzied and elaborate and sometimes distracting his technique may be, Luhrmann's personal connection and commitment to the material remains palpable, which makes for a film that, most of the time, feels vibrantly alive while remaining quite faithful to the spirit, if not the letter or the tone, of its source.