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Picture - Guest and Catherine Martin -... Los Angeles California United States, Sunday 2nd March 2014

Guest and Catherine Martin - 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party held at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 2nd March 2014

Picture - Olga Kurylenko, Richard E. Grant,... London United Kingdom, Saturday 16th February 2013

Olga Kurylenko, Richard E. Grant, Beverley Dunn and Catherine Martin - British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Winners Room - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 16th February 2013

Picture - Catherine Martin - British Academy... London United Kingdom, Sunday 16th February 2014

Catherine Martin - British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2014 held at the Royal Opera House - Winners Room - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 16th February 2014

Picture - Baz Luhrmann, Lillian Amanda Luhrmann... New York New York United States, Tuesday 12th November 2013

Baz Luhrmann, Lillian Amanda Luhrmann and Catherine Martin - Glamour 2013 Women Of the Year Awards, held at Carnegie Hall-Outside Arrivals - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 12th November 2013

The Great Gatsby Review

Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) is the perfect director to take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel about the American dream, simply because he's an expert at showing the emptiness of hyperactive excess. The film is a feast for the eye from start to finish, but it also eats away at us with its bleak story of people who live the high life even though it leaves them naggingly unsatisfied.

The tale is told by Nick (Maguire), trying to work through his life-changing summer in 1922 Long Island, where he rented a small cottage across the sound from his wealthy cousin Daisy (Mulligan), who is married to his college pal Tom (Edgerton), an all-American sportsman with an eye for other women. Next door to Nick's cottage is the vast mansion owned by reclusive millionaire Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), who throws outrageously raucous parties for New York's celebrity class. But Nick realises that Jay only does this to catch the eye of Daisy, because he's still in love with her after a romance five years earlier. Now he wants to take her away from Tom, and he needs Nick's help.

It's tricky to know whether Luhrmann is celebrating Gatsby's luxuriant lifestyle or offering a cautionary tale about the emptiness of materialism. Obviously, the story is trying to do both, and Luhrmann fills the surfaces with decadent extravagance, filling the air with wafting fabric, buckets of glitter and exploding fireworks. Like a lavish 3D pop-up book, the party scenes are wildly over-the-top, as are smaller gatherings in opulent city flats or roaring open-top cars. These people's lives are so vacuous that they live at top speed, always in search of the next thrill. And it's difficult not to see Gatsby's earnest quest as just another greedy acquisition.

Continue reading: The Great Gatsby Review

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