The star-studded adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Milligan and Tobey Maguire, opened in North America to great fanfare last week (ends10May13), grossing a strong $51.1 million (£32.97 million), but it drew mixed reviews from fans and critics alike.
A writer for the Wall Street Journal branded it a "dreadful film" that "derogates the artistry of Fitzgerald", while a USA Today critic dismissed it as a "glitz-filled folly" and a reporter for the Los Angeles Times lamented, "On paper Gatsby sounds like quite the film. On screen, though, things start to fall apart."
However, Luhrmann refused to let the negative feedback overshadow the movie's European premiere on Wednesday (15May13), when it officially opens the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival.
Speaking at a press conference before the red carpet extravaganza, he said, "I knew that (bad reviews) would come. I just care that people are going out there and seeing it."
And Luhrmann revealed that unveiling The Great Gatsby on the French Riviera was particularly fitting because Fitzgerald penned the book nearby.
He added, "He wrote it 20 miles up the road here, while his wife was having an affair on the beach just down there."