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 Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Get 12 issues from just £25
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Leonard Nimoy Dies
Beloved Star Trek actor was 83
Exclusive: Charlie Cox Talks Marvel’s Daredevil
Plus a new poster for the Netflix superhero show
Avengers: Age Of Ultron Character Posters Fly In
Update: Nick Fury's online, and he's brought Black Widow and Thor
Exclusive New While We're Young Poster
And a new trailer for Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts' midlife-com
First Look At Eddie Redmayne As The Danish Girl
First look at Tom Hooper's new period drama
Harrison Ford Confirmed For Blade Runner 2
Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct
Jack Huston Eyed As The New Crow
He could flap in to replace Luke Evans
First Trailer For The Lady In The Van
Alan Bennett has a visitor
Sam Mendes Talks Spectre
Skyfall's director on why he returned to the Bond franchise
Red Sonja Prepares For Action Again
Christopher Cosmos hired to write new screenplay
Rosamund Pike Joins The Deep Blue Good-By
Starring with Christian Bale
Blake Lively And Jason Clarke Say All I See Is You
Marc Forster's new psychological drama
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
18 February 2015
New Trailer For Far From The Madding Crowd
Choices, choices, choices for Carey Mulligan
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014)
Empire Star Rating
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
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


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's New Spectre Issue Covers
First look at Bond 24 in Empire's April issue

Vote For The Jameson Empire Awards 2015!
Your mission is clear...

The Oscars: Who Won What?
The winners, the losers, the dresses, the suits...

The Empire Podcast Oscars 2015 Special
The team's take on the 87th Academy Awards

Sleeping Beauties: The Story Behind 12 Of Cinema's Unlikeliest Hits
They came, they saw, they surprisingly conquered

Writer / Director Dan Gilroy Reveals 8 Nightcrawler Secrets
On Jake Gyllenhaal's hand-slicing mirror smash and more...

Robert Downey Jr. On Age Of Ultron
Tomorrow: Mark Ruffalo talks Bruce Banner...

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 maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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)