Anyone who doubted the cinematic treat director Baz Luhrmann will deliver this Christmas in the form of his “Great Gatsby” need only watch the first teaser trailer to have their curiosity decidedly piqued. The visually stunning two-and-a-half-minute trailer features stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan in all their glamorous, early 20th-century-styled glory.
Here are five key elements to look out for:
Leonardo DiCaprio Reclaims Matinee-Idol Status
There’s no doubt Leonardo DiCaprio is a gifted, serious actor; just look to his impressive and Oscar-nominated body of work for proof. And while his careful and calculated decisions with regard to his gritty and more art-house-oriented film roles over the years are indeed admirable, there’s part of his fanbase dying for him to get back to his matinee-idol roots, ß la Jack Dawson in “Titanic” and Romeo in Luhrmann’s 1996 adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet.” Judging by what we’ve just seen in the trailer, his performance as Jay Gatsby will more than do the trick. DiCaprio’s acting skills are perfect for the tortured-yet-revered hero, not to mention the fabulous suits he’s wearing to fit the time period.
The Roaring ’20s
Speaking of the time period, there’s just something magical about the 1920s, the decade in which the film and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel take place. The glitz, the glamour and the nostalgia all make for a very alluring package, particularly when put in Luhrmann’s very capable hands. It is clear from the trailer that the Australian director’s take on Fitzgerald’s classic will involve a faithful telling of the story that capitalizes upon the most visually stunning elements of that time period. And don’t forget that the film was shot in 3-D.
Gatsby At The Moulin Rouge
Luhrmann fans should appreciate the highly stylized, fast-paced theatrical style we’ve come to know and love from the director. There are several shots of party scenes in the trailer that would have worked just as well in or doubled for scenes from Luhrmann’s Oscar-nominated love story “Moulin Rouge.” And thanks to the colorful madness on display in the scenes of revelry, it makes the more quiet, emotionally charged interactions between Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan) that much more powerful.
Mulligan And Maguire’s Moments to Shine
Speaking of Mulligan, it’s obvious from Luhrmann’s carefully intercut Gatsby and Daisy scenes that the Oscar-nominated actress will be pulling on our heartstrings with her performance. Not to mention Tobey Maguire as narrator/reluctant hero Nick Carraway. His voice-over is reminiscent of Ewan McGregor’s in “Moulin Rouge” and reminds us of his underrated performance as “Pleasantville” idealist David. Similar to DiCaprio’s return to matinee-idol form, we’re excited to see Maguire as a wide-eyed optimist — at least at first.
Right Music, Wrong Time
We’ve already mentioned the fact that the film is set in the 1920s, so how is it that Luhrmann opens his trailer with the 2011 club bumper “No Church in the Wild,” by Kanye West and Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean? Because Luhrmann’s anachronistic musical selections have a successful track record, that’s why. Would we have picked the song to open this trailer? No. But the bass-heavy, Auto-Tuned beat is perfect for setting up the scenes to come. For the second half of the teaser, Luhrmann deftly foreshadows the story’s elements of heartbreak and loss with Jack White’s powerful cover of U2’s “Love Is Blindness.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Great Gatsby.”
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