Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
Chris Pine Circles A Key Role In Wonder Woman
Warner Bros. has him in talks to be Steve Trevor
Jason Reitman Finds Beekle For DreamWorks Animation
He has an animated, 'Unimaginary' friend
Tilda Swinton In Talks For Doctor Strange
She may school Benedict Cumberbatch in the mystic arts
Transformers Writing Team Developing Cybertron-Based Origin Story
As Ant-Man writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari join up
Jesse Plemons And More Join Tom Cruise In Mena
Caleb Landry Jones and Benito Martinez among those boarding the drug drama
First Trailer For A Walk In The Woods
Robert Redford wants one last adventure
Inside Out Set For The 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival
Robert Carlyle's The Legend Of Barney Thompson will kick things off
The End Of The Tour Has A First Promo
Jason Segel channels David Foster Wallace
Trailer For The New Point Break Arrives
Bodhi and the gang get bootylicious
Fox Now Plans Movie Reboot For The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
We're waiting to be impressed
Richard Loncraine Begins Finding Your Feet
Directing the senior citizen rom-com
Marko Mäkilaakso Adapts It Came From The Desert
While Taneli Mustonen Heads For Bodom
RZA To Direct Azealia Banks In Coco
Common to co-star
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
01 May 2015
Podcast 159: Carey Mulligan
Carey had a little lamb, little lamb...
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Far From The Madding Crowd (2015)
Empire Star Rating
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
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
Podcast #162: Hugh Laurie
Is there a doctor in the house?

Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  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)