The Cannes Film Festival hosted the European premiere of The Great Gatsby last week, adding even more pizzazz to an already glamourous south coast of France. The latest revision of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s renowned novel is dripping with style but aims to maintain the allure of it’s source material, still widely thought of as one of America’s all time greatest novels.
F. Scott Fitzgerald chronicler, Patrick Coleman thinks that the story is still so accessible because it’s themes of disguise resonate with us from the very beginning of adulthood, and it doesn’t hurt that the novel ‘is just so beautifully written, those sentences are stunning sometimes, and that’s what prompts these revisits to the big screen’
The latest revisit is appropriately filled with Hollywood’s elite from master direct Baz Luhrmann to leading man Leonardo Dicaprio and love interest Carey Mulligan. It’s been said that the film is oozing with style that elicits Fitzgerald’s novel.
But not at the cost of the book. The novel has been central to the production for both cast and director, as Baz Luhrmann explained:
‘Whatever the choices (for the film), it was about one thing: revealing that book
‘Leonard [Dicaprio] would almost drive me crazy, but in a good way, because he would say “Are we honouring the book?”‘
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his own Wild Geese story. His parents both held Irish ancestry and he mapped his own journey from humble beginning to the writer of the time. Fitzgerald was a prominent figure of the ‘Jazz Age’ and pre dated the celebrity culture we know today. He was certainly a head of the curve, both as a writer and social figure.
‘He was a wild commercial success,’ explains Coleman. ‘No writer can become famous overnight, like a rock star, the way he did anymore’
The latest filmed opened a week earlier in the USA. Baz Luhrmann shared the story of a mysterious lady who attended the premier in New York:
‘She said “I think Scott would be proud of this film… and by the way, I love the music!”‘
The lady was Eleanor Lanahan, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s granddaughter. ‘So for me,’ the director continued, ‘that was about as good as it could possibly get’.