My favorite film to date from Director Baz Luhrmann, 2013's THE GREAT GATSBY is an over-the-top explosion of sights and sounds, an imaginative retelling of the classic tale.
Our narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire, very good) finds himself drawn into the world of his next door neighbor Jay Gatsby, a megamillionaire mystery man who everyone wants to meet.
Leonardo DiCaprio is the perfect Gatsby, with the looks, the style and the acting chops to capture both the charming and the dangerous sides of this self made man.
Lurhmann fills not only every frame, but every corner of every frame with powerful imagery. A tribute to production design, it's spectacular to look at from the first scene to the last.
An all star cast orbits Gatsby. Carey Mulligan is very good as Daisy, Gatsby's former love and the object of his obsession. Joel Edgerton is terrific as Daisy's husband, Tom Buchanan.
The music is contemporary and classic at the same time, with Craig Armstrong's music score somehow mixing perfectly with Jay Z and the contemporary score.
The movie follows J. Scott Fitzgerald's book very closely, even borrowing much of the narration whole. Luhrmann whips the text and story into a frenzy with kinetic, brilliant visuals creating everything from 1920's Manhattan from every angle, to the most stunning parties ever thrown.
Where Luhrmann's last film "Australia" left me cold, unattached and uninterested and the visuals didn't work for me on any level, his Gatsby blew me away from the opening scene.
The 1974 version from Coppola with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was a boring, poorly acted mess, giving you even greater appreciation for just how good DiCaprio, Maguire and cast are for their roles.
The Great Gatsby is interesting, well acted, beautiful and exciting to look at from its first moment to its last.
It's a visual feast that gets a solid gold A.