Currently, “The Great Gatsby” is scoring 55 at MetaCritic. While it reaped raves from the likes of Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times) and Lou Lumenick (NY Post), it was dismissed by Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal) and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone). A.O Scott (New York Times) was tempered in his praise as was Richard Corliss (Time).
However, before dismissing the Oscar hopes of “Gatsby,” remember that Luhrmann’s 2001 spectacle “Moulin Rouge!” proved to be just as polarizing. But it reaped a Best Picture bid when there were only five nominees, ultimately losing to “A Beautiful Mind.”
With the new system of voting rewarding those pictures that inspire passion and up to 10 nominees, “Gatsby” could well be an Oscar contender for Best Picture. Do you agree? Vote in our poll below.
The film was to be the centerpiece of Warners’ Oscar campaign last year but got bumped from Christmas Day to this spring when Luhrmann asked for more time to get it just right. For this lavish 3-D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s 1925 novel, he has reteamed with Leonardo DiCaprio, whose career was launched in 1996 with Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet.”
The director worked with Craig Pearce, who co-wrote “Moulin Rouge!” as well as “Romeo + Juliet,” to adapt this classic tale of an enigmatic millionaire (DiCaprio) who falls under the spell of a southern belle (Carey Mulligan) with dire results. DiCaprio’s pal Tobey Maguire plays the cousin of this siren who narrates the story. While he will likely be touted as a supporting actor, Maguire has the most screentime and is a revelation.
Art direction and costumes are by Luhrmann’s wife Catherine Martin who won a pair of Oscars for her work on “Moulin Rouge!” And the director brought in 17-time Grammy champ Jay-Z in to handle the music. Three of the 14 cuts from the soundtrack are: Beyonce and Andre 3000‘s cover of Amy Winehouse‘s “Black to Black,” Lana Del Ray crooning “Young and Beautiful,” and Florence + the Machine ‘s “Over the Love.”