Film Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Due to the fact I have never yet read the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald or watched the original film that was released in 1974, I went into the cinema with only a vague notion of what the film was about, thanks in part to the trailer and what I heard of it from others.

Australian director Baz Luhrmann, well known for his grandiose style of filming, sets the scene of 1922  beautifully. Complete with wondrous set design and a few pieces of CGI to keep the picture seamless.

And he adds a score from the masterful Craig Armstrong who is known for his scores for In Time, Elizabeth the Golden Age and interestingly, Moulin Rouge, which is complimented with modern songs, but these do not feel unnatural or in your face in any way. Its a beautiful combination that adds a whole layer to this film.

The actors. Another interesting fact, the majority of the principal cast are Australian, like the director. Other walk on roles are given to them as well. Jack Thompson, Steve Bisley, Barry Otto, Richard Carter, Vince Colosimo and Callan McAuliffe portrays the young Jay Gatsby in flashback scenes.

In the principal cast, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Adelaide Clemens, and the completely superb Joel Edgerton.
He has completely submerged himself in the role of Tom Buchanan, and brings a three dimensional character to life. Tom is a sleaze, but in Mr Edgerton's hands, a sleaze with reasons and obvious (at times dubious) affection for the women he loves.

The lone two Americans, Leonardo Di Caprio and Tobey Maguire act with aplomb, Mr Di Caprio's Gatsby is just as great as Mr Edgerton's performance.

Of course, the oscar for best actress in a leading role goes to Carey Mulligan. Her performance is breathtaking in every scene, and yet subtle as well.

All the elements considered, a very well made film from every angle.


  1. This first quote comes from another film where the lovers are kept apart.
    And where humour is used well.

    “Judge Langlois: Wild companions, gambling, running around St James's like a neck-or-nothing young blood of the fancy. What kind of lawyer will that make?
    Tom Lefroy: Typical.”

    And the second comes from a film with similar grandiose style:

    “Wiseman: If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.”


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