Adapting F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s-set novel The Great Gatsby is an ideal fit for director Baz Luhrmann. The man known for over-the-top visuals in films like Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet depicts the biggest parties you've ever seen in Jazz Age-era New York, and Luhrmann even presents it all in stunning 3D. The aesthetic is the best thing about The Great Gatsby, which falls short in many other aspects. The movie is bloated with every detail and character from the book, and Fitzgerald's text is awkwardly featured on the screen. Luhrmann is as ambitious as Gatsby's climb toward the American dream, and only some of it pays off.
There are a few saving graces, like Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor puts on the impeccable suits of Jay Gatsby, a man whose background and source of wealth are a mystery. The ridiculously rich Gatsby is king of a Long Island castle where he can buy anything — except for the love of his former sweetheart Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan). She's quite comfortable with the old money she married into, even though her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), is a cheating bigot. It's the task of Gatsby's neighbour, narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), to help Gatsby win Daisy back, and though the two lovers do find their way back to each other, Gatsby's pretty, pretty world crumbles as he tries to make a life with her. The movie follows a similar path, starting off strong — all debauchery, confetti and champagne — until it fades into a drawn-out bore. Luhrmann still succeeds in some areas, though; to find out what else I thought of The Great Gatsby, just keep reading.