Director: Baz Lurhmann
Nominated: Costume Design; Production Design
I am completely enamored of The Great Gatsby – it’s one of my favorite movies to come out of last year. I suppose being a fan of Luhrmann’s work makes me more open to embracing the latest of his epic adventures.
Gatsby is instantly recognizable as a Baz Luhrmann film. It seems to be an amalgamation of his previous work. It has the vivid colors of Romeo & Juliet (1996), the frenetic, almost disjointed, movement and pervasive musical element of Moulin Rouge! (2001) and the epic scope of Australia (2008). All these elements combine to create another visually stunning world that is so very Baz.
The soundtrack to Gatsby is one of my favorite film soundtracks (which is saying something when I confess unabashedly that the vast majority of my iTunes library is made up of soundtracks!) I will admit that when I first heard that people like Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Will.I.Am were producing tracks I couldn’t quite figure out how Hip Hop was going to fit in a film that is very much situated in the 1920s. But somehow the music not only fits but adds another level to the world being created.
Carey Mulligan is breathtaking as Daisy. If ever there was someone who should have been born in another period of time it’s her. She flawless embodies the very essence of the 1920s. It was good to see Tobey Maguire acting again. As the narrator of Gatsby you are kind of pre-disposed to see the whole film from his perspective and you certainly get swept along on the same whirlwind adventure Nick Carraway embarks upon when he enters Gatsby’s lavish world.
And then there is Leonardo DiCaprio as the fantastical literary figure that is Jay Gatsby. I’ve been a fan of DiCaprio since I was a teenager and he was the teen pin-up in Titanic (1997, James Cameron)and continue to be not only impressed but drawn t every character he inhabits and Gatsby is no exception. Of course it does help that he looks absolutely dashing as Gatsby. The 1920s suits him. I love the vulnerability he infuses Gatsby with along with the childlike hope, everything will be okay because I have a plan so it has to work out. And yet he is such a tragic figure.
Now on to the costumes because after all that’s what The Great Gatsby is nominated for (well and Production Design too but more on that later) The costumes are to die for quite simply!! I adore the 1920s and all the flapper dresses so was enraptured by all the exquisite costumes created to bring the lavish world of The Great Gatsby to life. There’s an elegance to the fashion of the 1920s and a simplicity – even to the most extravagant dresses. I love the attention of detail that went into creating an as authentic as possible world for Gatsby to inhabit. They used the tailors that had dressed F. Scott Fitzgerald in real life to make many of the suits for Leo’s Gatsby and boy did he wear them well!
There’s only one word to describe the Production Design and that is lavish. Gatsby’s mansion is incredible with the fabulous swimming pool as the focal point of the immense garden. The Production design really pulls the whole film together, providing the perfect stage for the epic story of The Great Gatsby. The outrageously spectacular parties thrown by Gatsby are full of frenetic movement and music reminiscent of many numbers in Moulin Rouge. I love everything about The Great Gatsby but then as I said before I am a fan of Baz Luhrmann’s unique cinematic vision.