Published May 16. 2013 4:00AM
Don't think of this as an F. Scott Fitzgerald story. Think of it instead as a Baz Luhrmann flick. Because this is a total Baz extravaganza: the razzle-dazzle! the quick-cuts! the over-the-topness of it all! The party scenes in Gatsby's 1920s mansion are a study in divine Bazian excess. Oh, and the movie is in 3-D, too, although you won't lose much if you see it in regular ol' 2-D. While Luhrmann's directing provides the film's sparkly veneer, Leonardo DiCaprio provides the heart. He gives a deeply felt performance as Gatsby - he is, at different times, guarded, confident, swooning, needy. The weak link here is Gatsby's romantic fixation, Daisy - not Carey Mulligan's performance so much as the fact that little weight is given to the character's feelings and motives. For instance - spoiler alert if you don't recall this late-in-the-story plot point from your high-school English class - after Gatsby sacrifices himself for Daisy, Luhrmann doesn't give the audience any real reaction shot of Daisy. It's an opportunity lost.
- KRISTINA DORSEY