By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 5 Reels)

Believe it or not, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY was not required reading for me in high school, so I went into this film with an open mind and no expectations. Mr. Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), is an eccentric millionaire who throws extravagant party’s every weekend at his mansion outside of New York City. The problem is that he is still deeply in love with Daisy (Carey Mulligan), his former girlfriend whom he lost because he went away to war and to earn his fortune. When he returned Daisy was engaged and about to marry a rich man named Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Gatsby decides to befriend Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a would-be writer who recently arrived in New York City in the spring of 1922 who lives in a cottage next to his estate.

This film is written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce the makers of Moulin Rouge which is evident almost from the outset because this film has the same extravagant look and feel as their previous work.  And, yes, yet again for some reason they decided to make this one in 3D. Why, oh why do they feel the need to do it? Don’t get me wrong, this film visually has richness and depth but there was no need for it to be in 3D.

DiCaprio, Mulligan, Maguire and Edgerton are spectacular in their roles but I think DiCaprio shone above the rest of the cast in his portrayal of Gatsby.  The music by Craig Armstrong works because of the combination of roaring twenties style with a modern esthetic that adds a kind of weird dimension to this film. As a whole, this film is entertaining, visually interesting and has some wonderful acting. I will leave it up to the viewer to decide pay more to see it in 3D.

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