starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
screenplay by Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce, based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald
directed by Baz Luhrmann
by Walter Chaw The great irony of Baz Luhrmann's unwatchable farrago The Great Gatsby is that it's not so much an interpretation of its titular hero's self-aggrandizing fandangos as a literalization of one. It's all surface, all façade, and not coincidentally, the most successful thing about it is Luhrmann's shooting of Gatsby's legendary parties as infernal bacchanalia. But that bit of useful critique is clearly a fluke, an accident of Luhrmann's one-trick pony kicking over the single element in Fitzgerald's book that is remotely compatible with Luhrmann's style. The marriage of Baz with Fitzgerald, in fact, is a little like asking Michael Bay to adapt The Brothers Karamazov--it's Timur Bekmambetov's A Farewell to Arms. It's showing off in the loudest, most obnoxious way possible, without any kind of critical, nay, useful, rationale for all the bread and circus--an asshole at play with Welles's "best train set a boy could ever want," with the casualty only what's possibly the best American novel ever written. It's an effrontery to taste, the sole consolation being that as Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is something of a motherless child, there's no one who will love it. No one could.