Rather appropriately, The Great Gatsby opened The Cannes Film Festival this week.
Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby was the principle piece of the first day of Cannes this year and despite the rainy weather putting a bit of a damper on the festivities, the festival was still off to a great start. This was also Gatsby’s European premiere, a whole week after the film premiered in North American theatres – that was definitely some odd timing, meaning that European audiences have been reading the critics’ opinions long before they actually get to see the film, but hey, at least it’s finally happening.
And those reviews were certainly not great – The Great Gatsby is currently anchored at a steady, but not exactly impressive 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film’s box office takings, on the other hand, have been spectacular – The Great Gatsby took in an impressive $51 million in its first week.
“I knew that would come,” said Luhrmann, noting the initially poor critical response in 1925 to the novel. “I just care that people are going out there and seeing it.” And they definitely are, en masse. The glamorous, glitzy film rings more as a celebration of the frenzied jazz age, than the critique F. Scott Fitzgerald probably intended, but that does make it extremely watchable and perfectly at home among the glamour of Cannes itself.
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