Jay Gatsby is played by the gorgeous and apt Leonardo DiCaprio and Nick Carraway by the affable enough Toby Maguire.
Luhrmann’s Gatsby is a perfect re-telling of Fitzgerald’s great American novel, but modernized with bright fast-paced editing that speaks to the contemporary moment. 2013’s version of The Great Gatsby weaves in and out of love story and cultural commentary and in the vein of not just Moulin Rouge but of the epic Titanic was absolutely captivating. The story is about everything from falling in love to trying to meet expectations put forth by American panopticons to the emptiness one finds in a hyper-consumer lifestyle. The viewer becomes privy to a a time in which people are indulging in excesses, disillusioned from past traditions and because of the war, and when people with new money (either from stocks/bonds or from bootlegging) attempting to challenge the tradition of only old money as being respectable! Woo-hoo, what a ride.
And the music- YES! Fun stuff from the likes of Beyonce, Fregie, Will.I.Am, Florence and the Machine, Goyte and more. Luhrmann’s use of the JayZ/Kanye/Frank Ocean/The-Dream’s collaboration “No Church in the Wild” a song that so beautifully speaks to the zeitgeist of our times: an incredible choice. Another favorite: a hilarious rendition of “Crazy in Love” remixed by Kid Koala, one of the most unique DJ’s out there today!! All the music, wow. Currently listening to the hauntingly beautiful “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey from the soundtrack and I’m ready to go back and see the film again!
I also saw this in 3-D, and as my first 3-D movie I was awestruck not just by the visuals themselves but how they were used to enhance the story. The rain, the snow, the confetti at Gatsby’s parties– all lept off the screen, as did Carraway’s words as he typed. Magical. I can’t recommend this movie enough! Get out there and go see it! In 3-D!