Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby opened the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday evening. The Gatsby red carpet looked like a cross between the Academy Awards (Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire) and Dancing with Stars (loud music, with a handful of dancers performing in ’20s-costumes). (Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio on the 2013 Cannes Film Festival’s The Great Gatsby red carpet.)
On the Cannes Film Festival’s video of the Great Gatsby red carpet, you can watch Carey Mulligan getting nearly decapitated by a take-no-prisoners umbrella; Leonardo DiCaprio telling an interviewer, "I can’t hear a word you’re saying," and then walking on as if said journalist was invisible; and Tobey Maguire getting called, "Eh, Tobee!"
But what do we learn from those brief interviews? That being in Cannes is "exciting" (DiCaprio, Maguire) and "meaningful" (Luhrmann, referring to the fact that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote much of The Great Gatsby on the French Riviera). Also, that the downpour that turned the red carpet into a red creek was "logical" because, according to one of the Cannes journalists, "it rained during the entire production." You can check out the The Great Gatsby red-carpet video here.
Baz Luhrmann’s 3D-fied The Great Gatsby, which grossed a surprising $50.08 million at the North American box office this past weekend, received mostly thumbs down from American critics. But negative reviews or no, Luhrmann, whose Moulin Rouge! opened the Cannes Film Festival twelve years ago, has modestly pointed out that his film has helped to sell more copies of Fitzgerald’s novel in a week than were sold during the author’s lifetime.
Besides Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, The Great Gatsby features Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Debicki, Callan McAuliffe, Max Cullen, Gemma Ward, Barry Otto, Amitabh Bachchan, and Jack Thompson. The 2013 The Great Gatsby screenplay was penned by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce.
Snippet from French review of The Great Gatsby
"From [the film’s] first frames," writes Jean-Luc Wachthausen in Le Figaro, "[Baz Luhrmann] sets the tone, crazy, electric, by filming in vertiginous fashion the high-society parties Gatsby throws for the beautiful eyes of Daisy (Carey Mulligan, perfect as a fake innocent), with whom he is madly in love. The champagne flows, the dancing is frenetic, the music is deafening — Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, and rapper Jay-Z flirt with Gershwin’s ’Rhapsody in Blue’ — in this orgy of luxury where women wear the chicest clothes and men compete in shiny cars."
The Great Gatsby opened in France today, coinciding — or rather, timed — with the out-of-competition Cannes gala (or perhaps it’s the other way around). The Baz Luhrmann / Leonardo DiCaprio collaboration opens in several dozen countries (including the UK, Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, and most other European territories) in the next couple of days. It’ll reach Australia and Mexico at the end of the month, and Brazil and Japan in June.
Leonardo DiCaprio screengrab via the Cannes Film Festival website.