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24th April 2013

“Gatsby? What Gatsby?”

Cannes prepares to spend the summer under the red white and blue

Put everything on hold and forget every other film you’ve seen this year because Baz is back and he’s planning one hell of a party!

From the fiery pasa doble of Strictly Ballroom, via a pair of star cross’d lovers in Romeo and Juliet, to Ewan McGregor’s immortal cry of “Myyyyyyy gift is my song!” in the incomparable Moulin Rouge! – Baz Luhrmann’s Red Curtain Trilogy transformed the standard cinematic experience into a cinematic spectacle, assaulting the senses and plunging us into worlds of excess, exuberance, truth, beauty, freedom and – above all things – love. The trilogy unleashed an intoxicating energy that had audiences everywhere having to restrain themselves from leaping up and dancing, singing, or spontaneously breaking into Shakespeare!

Luhrmann is most definitely the party planner of the film industry. So when it was announced that his next film was F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the scene was well and truly set for this year’s great expectation, but which Luhrmann will turn up? Will it be another masterpiece like Moulin Rouge!? Or will it be another flop like his most recent venture Australia? Well, we’re still waiting in suspense for it to finally hit the screens and open Cannes film festival on May 15th.   But watch the trailer and see for yourself – this isn’t a flop!  This is Luhrmann back on form and back where he belongs as the Jay Gatsby of the cinema world.

One key indicator that this film is going to be “Spectacular! Spectacular!” is its cast, with the Luhrmann-Leo duo reunited as DiCaprio takes the helm and tackles what is arguably one of the most seminal characters in American literature: Jay Gatsby. Suited up, hair slicked back and with that should-be-award-winning crooked smile, DiCaprio certainly looks the part.  And after his recent run of incredible performances, this could just turn out to be the role he was born to play, catapulting DiCaprio into award-winning territory – it’s certainly been a long time coming.

As well as Leo, audiences should be pleased to see Tobey Maguire back on our screens. Anyone who has seen The Cider House Rules knows that this guy can pack a performance with enough intensity to leave your spider-senses tingling.  With a role like Nick Carraway – Gatsby’s loyal guest, neighbour and friend – to sink his teeth into, it looks like we’ll see Maguire at his very best.  Then there’s Daisy Buchanan, brought to life by Brit, Carey Mulligan. Dressed in full flapper gear this girl looks good to go, fresh-faced and fresh out of the 1920’s, no doubt ready to produce yet another immaculate performance.

But what about the other key element of the Luhrmann formula… the music! Well fret not, because the soundtrack has definitely been taken care of, featuring artists as A-list as the cast – Lana Del Rey, The xx, Jay Z, Florence and the Machine, and some chick called Beyoncé. Not exactly the standard soundtrack to the 1920’s, but then, Luhrmann strives for anything but the expected!

With only a few weeks to go, the release of The Great Gatsby is looming like a green light on the horizon – will it live up to the hype?! If anyone can do it, Baz can, and after Moulin Rouge!’s stunning success at Cannes back in 2001, it looks like he’s set to do it all over again. “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can!”

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