The first trailer for "The Great Gatsby", starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire and Joel Edgerton, is a reminder that few directors throw a party or bring a modern spin to a historic period like Baz Luhrmann.
This is Hollywood's fourth stab at retelling F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic tale of the American Dream, and judging from the trailer, it has a chance to be the first one that's truly excellent. The most recent, 1974 version, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow was pretty, in its way, but kinda meh.
Here's the official synopsis for the three of you that didn't read the book in high school:
“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super-rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
DiCaprio's innate boyishness is perfectly suited for Gatsby's underlying insecurity, and Mulligan (as she did so brilliantly in "Shame") brings a delicacy to Daisy that hints to the character's instability.
And then there's the look of the film, which is incredibly lush. As he did in "Moulin Rogue," Luhrmann has conjured a fashion sensibility that straddles two eras separated by decades, and uses modern music that succinctly captures the mood of a bygone time--Jay-Z's and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild" somehow works perfectly over the start of the trailer.