It was a little worrisome when Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel had its release postponed last year. As it turns out, turning the film into a summer blockbuster rather than an awards-season contender was a great move, because this one felt right at home during the summer movie season.
Shot in glorious 3-D, this is a rollicking Roaring ’20s movie that shouldn’t be missed. Leonardo DiCaprio is a marvel in the title role, giving us a vulnerable and sometimes slightly crazy Gatsby who relentlessly pursues his love, Daisy (Carey Mulligan). His visual intro in this film is one for the ages.
Tobey Maguire is excellent as narrator and Gatsby admirer Nick Carraway, while Joel Edgerton steals scenes as Tom Buchanan. Those who like Luhrmann’s opulent, sometimes-frantic style will find plenty to like. He also manages to effectively use music by Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey—in a movie set nearly a century ago.
Despite the big, headline-grabbing production delay, the film wound up being one of the summer’s better offerings, and it’s a sure contender for technical Oscars. (DiCaprio is solid enough for a nom here as well … but we’ll see.) Visually, this is one of the film year’s greater achievements. Dramatically, the stars give it substance beyond the style.
Special Features: A boatload of behind-the-scenes looks and some deleted scenes, including an alternate ending. This is being released today, Tuesday, Aug. 27.