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The Great Gatsby

Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel

Anyone who dismisses any hope of subtlety from Baz Luhrmann's audacious adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel will not only be pleasantly surprised, they're likely to reappraise the director's alleged preference for tack over tact. Yes, The Great Gatsby is brash, loud, over-the-top, in-your-face, raucous and outlandish - as it should be. But only for a while. And only when called for. When the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) throws parties at his New York mansion, he does so with all the excess and frivolity synonymous with the stereotype of the "Roaring 20s". What enchants lowly neighbour Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), however, is the enigma of the man. Why is he so rich? What are all these rumours? Is he a war hero? A high-class gangster? And who are all these people? Are they part of his empire? Hangers on? Both? But it is Gatsby's fascination with the mansion across the water - and the blinking green light at the end of its pier - that intrigues Nick most. For in that mansion live Nick's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her wealthy, roguish, racist husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton, again proving his versatility). Seems Gatsby and Daisy had a thing five years earlier, and desperately wants it rekindled. Nick inevitably becomes ensnared in Gatsby's desire for Daisy, a pursuit complicated by Tom's semi-secret affair with Myrtle Wilson (Isla Fisher), the wife of a local mechanic. Fitzgerald would have loved this film. First Luhrmann immerses you in Gatsby's world, then propels you along a journey pitted with poignant moments of loss, regret, longing and, as Nick repeatedly states, hope. Amidst the extravagance are scores of well-judged insights into human frailty. The key scene where Gatsby meets Daisy for the first time in five years is a flawless evocation of how no amount of money or preparation can make up for plain old romantic awkwardness. It's testament to just how good an actor DiCaprio has become that he can play such nuanced moments so perfectly. Visually, the film is the fast-moving, pastel-coloured cinematic mural you'd expect, a style that has become so synonymous with Luhrmann's brand. When it comes to filling a screen with noisy spectacle, Luhrmann has few peers. He's like a sensible version of Terry Gilliam. Courtesy: Jim Schembri, 3AW 693 News Talk Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Baz Luhrmann
Running Time: 
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey MacGuire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher
Screenplay by: 
Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce, F. Scott Fitzgerald

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