Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
First Look At Dad's Amy
Don't Panic! Walmington-On-Sea's finest is here
New Trailer For Michelle Williams' Suite Française
Love in a controlled climate
Ben Wheatley Taps Luke Evans For Free Fire
'It’s a modern ‘70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare'
Warners Finding Female Director For Wonder Woman
Movie studio seeks F. Must have GSOH (Good Sense Of Helming)
Seth Rogen And More Head For Zeroville
James Franco's latest novel adaptation
Todd Solondz Returning To The Dollhouse
Wiener-Dog will revisit old friends
Podcast #134: Steve Carell, David Ayer
Shipping out
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
YESTERDAY
Christian Bale Back In Talks For Steve Jobs Biopic
UPDATE: Aaron Sorkin confirms his casting
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Exodus: Gods And Kings
26 December 2014
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
The Rover (2014)
Empire Star Rating
Inside Llewyn Davis (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Empire Star Rating
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: The Great Gatsby Screens
Cannes 2013: The Great Gatsby Screens
Baz Luhrmann's film kicks things off

15 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

Despite the promise of star wattage and spectacle in Baz Luhrmann's opulent 3D take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous tale of fast living in the Roaring Twenties, the Cannes film festival opened to noncommittal shrugs this morning at the first press screening of The Great Gatsby.

As the 143-minute film came to a close there was a respectful silence, followed by a smattering of polite applause after the initial production credits. Surprisingly, there were few boos, a state of affairs that can largely be ascribed to the fact that the film has been screened to most European critics and has already opened in the US, where its healthy opening-weekend figures have not been matched by positive reviews.

As a Cannes opener, The Great Gatsby follows a recent pattern in that it is a mainstream auteur piece from a director with a distinct visual style, much in the same way that Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom and Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris did in 2012 and 2011 respectively.

Sadly, Luhrmann's filmmaking is no match for Fitzgerald's subtle prose: when Tobey Maguire's narrator is not literally reading the book aloud (an awkward framing device find his Nick Carraway in rehab, penning his memoirs), Luhrmann is presenting us with literal interpretations of its contents. It was small wonder that in the following press conference the director alluded to the book being “seven hours long”, revealing that he rediscovered it ten years ago as an audio book during a train ride in Siberia.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, the film tells the story of a rich playboy who befriends the penniless writer Carraway in order to get close to the latter's cousin, Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), a wealthy socialite Gatsby has been smitten with since the end of the Great War some five years previously. Daisy is married to the aristocratic, womanising Tom (Joel Edgerton), but Gatsby, convinced of her love for him, makes plans to take her away.

It is the stuff of high drama, offering scope for both romance and social comment, but Luhrmann's anything-goes approach applies to almost every aspect of the production. Some scenes are played for laughs, others for pathos, most going for scale with scarcely a thought for subtlety. Indeed, it is a measure of the film's artistic failure that it will drive readers back to Fitzgerald's masterpiece not just to reacquaint themselves with the author's exquisite writing but to get back to its pure, understated essence.

Photos: Alpha Press

The full Empire review of The Great Gatsby is over here and we'll be bringing you all the news, views and reactions from Cannes as it unfolds.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cannes 2013: The Jury Speaks!
Steven Spielberg opens the Festival
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast: David Ayer Talks Fury
Plus Steve Carell talks Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer Reaction
We dive under the hood of Whedon's sequel teaser

10 Of The Most Impressive In-Universe Movie Tie-In Websites
From Blair Witch to Days Of Future Past, expand your cinematic horizons online

The 12 Apps Every Film Fan Needs On Their Smartphone
The handheld essentials to enhance your movie life

Empire Meets Jason Bateman And Tina Fey
The stars of This Is Where I Leave You hang out

The Scariest Film Of The Year? Jennifer Kent On The Babadook
The director talks us through her terrifying new film

10 Horror Spin-Offs We Want To See
After Annabelle, what other supporting characters deserve their own film?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)