Created on: March 14, 2013
In its always prescient decisions, this year’s Cannes Film Festival will open with Baz Luhrmann’s take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, “The Great Gatsby.” The film stars the always bankable Leonardo DiCaprio (as Jay Gatsby), as well as Carey Mulligan (as Daisy Buchanan) and Tobey Maguire (as Nick Carraway). The film will be shown May 15, 2013, in the Grand Theatre Lumiere of the Palais des Festivals.
Leading the Cannes Film Festival Jury will be American Director Steven Spielberg, who noted “We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts, not only because my first film ‘Strictly Ballroom’ was screened there 21 years ago, but also because F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside Saint-Raphael.”
“The Great Gatsby” will also be shown in 3D, just the second film in Cannes Film Festival’s history to do so (the first was “Up,” the 2009 Pixar animation). Expect plenty of other ground-breaking changes within this Baz Luhrmann version. The film will open throughout the US on May 10, in both 2D and 3D versions, according to the “Los Angeles Times,” which may detract from its Cannes premiere.
Bellwether of the award season
The Cannes film festival is the bellwether of films likely to grab future awards. In 2012, “Amour” won the Palme d’Or, the most coveted award at Cannes, going on to win an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and ultimately winning for Best Foreign Language Film. “Moonrise Kingdom,” another Best Picture nominee, also debuted at Cannes in 2012. In 2011, “The Artist” was one of Cannes’ most beloved films.
While “The Great Gatsby” could be moved to open at a later date (following its Cannes appearance), the weekend of May 17 is likely to find US movie theaters swamped with film buffs of another sort. That weekend is the opening of “Star Trek into Darkness.”
“The Great Gatsby” cannot (by tradition) win any awards at Cannes, given its prestigious position in the line-up of films to be shown at the festival. Still, it sets the mood for the award season, should critics find Baz Luhrmann’s take on the classic satisfying.
Luhrmann and the critics
That may be a big “if.” While the critics roundly sang his praises for “Moulin Rouge,” upon his announcement of taking on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, not all fans welcomed his new vision, according to the “Los Angeles Times.”
Among some of the more risky notes Luhrmann has taken in this film is collaborating with Jay-Z on the musical score. According to Yahoo! News, “To articulate the film’s ‘1920s-Meets-Now’ sound, Jay-Z also comes to ‘The Great Gatsby’ soundtrack as a performer and contributor of original music.” To put a more modern feel to the 1920s of Gatsby, “Jay-Z worked with Luhrmann and his team to capture, translate and contrast the feelings of Fitzgerald’s decadent era with that of our own, using hip-hop and jazz… to bring two distinct American moments to simultaneous life.”
Bringing this new feel is likely to evoke criticism from traditionalists, but Luhrmann and Cannes appear to be betting on the new.
Learn more about this author, Christine Zibas.
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