I know there are hundreds of blogs and articles and reviews about Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby, but I just cannot stand by and not contribute to the dialog. First, my disclaimer, I am a HUGE Luhrmann fan, and have been since way back when he Strictly Ballroom (the movie that should have been titled ‘Australia’ as it so perfectly captures the Australian spirit, much more so in my opinion than the movie he made actually about Australia, which I find his least satisfying movie by far).
That being said, I think he did an outstanding job capturing the novel and the essence of its two main characters, and in fact I think he might have even added to the story and its clarity (just as he did with Romeo + Juliet when he altered the great Shakespeare and awakened Juliet prior to Romeo’s death).
As for the style and sets of the movie, it would have been so easy to wash the entire movie in deco fabulousness, but Mr Luhrmann, you are too smart for that. He does infuse plenty of deco excess through the parties and some sets such as Gatsby’s bedroom-
However, the genius Luhrmann takes a much more realistic view of the period and perfectly shows how most lived, with historic revival styles. And what is more impressive, is that he subtly shows the great divide between Gatsby and his flashy new money and the Buchanan’s old money.
The wonderfully stately Federal style mansion of the Buchanan estate-
The interior with the Regency Revival furniture-
And Gatsby’s over-the-top showy and just a bit gaudy mansion-
I have to say this manifestation of a key theme in the novel in the sets shows such amazing direction and overall vision of the movie. Baz my friend, in my opinion, you have done it again.