The Festival de Cannes 2013 opened with “The Great Gatsby” by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Australia), presented out of competition and in 3D. The film has been adapted from Scott Fitzgerald’s novel and is featuring Leonardo Di Caprio, Carrey Mulligan et Tobey Maguire. The film brought an atmosphere of romance, luxury, jazz and relaxation of morals prevaling during spring 1922. Nevetheless, this thrill contained in itself the ferments of economic crises and decay evoking an echo of today.
The Great Gatsby is a classic already brought to the screen three times, the last in 1974 by Jack Clayton, starring Robert Redford. A mysterious millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks to regain the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Daisy Buchanan (Carrey Mulligan) after having made a fortune in finance and deadens his sorrows in celebrity parties under the eyes of an apprentice writer, Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who arrived from Midwest to settle in New York. So much pomp mask with great difficulty a deep rift. During the press conference, Leonardo Di Caprio said the importance of the novel in the United States: “Gatsby is a must read between the 5th and 3rd People still try to dissect this novel, to interpret each line. It is a kind of endless path.” At the end of the film premiere in the United States, a woman said to Baz Luhrmann: “I came from Vermont to see what you did with my grandfather’s book.” Adding: “I think Scott would be proud of this film.”
A successful romance novel is always the novel of a place. The Great Gatsby evokes a particular New York – the one F. S. Fitzgerald called his “splendid mirage” – in which he found inspiration for his book. For Baz Luhrmann, the city was a crucial place and he settled in Midtown Manhattan, and at the corner of Canal Street and Broadway. He was surrounded by his wife, Catherine Martin (Oscar for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design), who has been participating in all of his projects for over 20 years, Anton Monsted, music supervisor and co-producer, and screenwriter Craig Pearce. New York and “the heady and adventurous feeling it gives the night (…), the constant flicker of men, women and cars”, was a real inspiration. Much like the characters in the novel Fitzgerald, the whole team has fed on the energy and history of the place.
The Great Gatsby Red Carpet