Writer-director Baz Luhrmann has reimagined “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic American novel, but this time it’s in 3D, taking viewers for a sumptuous ride into the past.
Here is Leonardo DiCaprio as the beautiful and shallow Jay Gatsby. Carey Mulligan in a blonde bob as Daisy (“her voice was full of money”) Buchanan. Joel Edgerton as Tom, the jealous husband. And Tobey Maguire, our narrator in a boater hat, walking us through the story again.
In Luhrmann’s creative hands, “Gatsby” feels like something new. The camera swoops and swoons with the mad, gaiety of flappers dancing at Jay Gatsby’s soiree. Maguire practically steps out of the proscenium frame to walk you through Gatsby’s mansion.
Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) presented the clips via a taped message from New Zealand, where he is completing the film. It was part of Warner Brothers’ presentation to CinemaCon movie exhibitors in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
And while the audience of movie exhibitors only saw a selection of scenes, this feels like something special, something that eluded the beautiful-but-distant “Hugo” and that can’t be touched by a 3D “Cowboys and Aliens.”
It feels like Luhrmann has found a way to tell a character-driven, dramatic story using 3D as a true storytelling tool, rather than as a gimmick for visual hype.
There is a tinge of “Titanic’s” opulence, and echoes of DiCaprio as a teen in Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The movie has Luhrmann’s distinctive stamp all over it, and it’s safe to predict that teenage girls will be lining up to see it.