Gatsby not great, but gives Cannes a grand opening

From left, Tobey McGuire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in a scene from the movie The Great Gatsby, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
From left, Tobey McGuire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton in a scene from the movie The Great Gatsby, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

BAZ Luhrmann shrugged off criticism of his big screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby as it opened the Cannes Film Festival yesterday - taking inspiration from its author F Scott Fitzgerald, who he said was also "horrendously criticised" when the novel was published.

The 3D film's Australian director issued his defence while appearing in the southern French town alongside stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.

Unusually for the opening film of a festival, Gatsby had already been released in the US.

It has taken more than $50m (£33m) at the box office but faced mixed reviews.

The Los Angeles Times said the filmmaking "suffocates beyond resuscitation any dramatic interest" while the Miami Herald called it "a failure that should have at least been a magnificent mistake".

The same, Luhrmann said, happened to Fitzgerald. "He wrote that book, and he was horrendously criticised when the book came out. The major critic of the day called him 'Fitzgerald, this clown', and said his characters were like marionettes."

>>More Movie News and Reviews

Throughout Luhrmann's career, with films such as Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, he "never got high critic scores", he said.

One person who has approved of the adaptation was Eleanor Lanahan, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's granddaughter, born four years after the author's death.

She approached the director following the premiere, and told him: "I think Scott would be proud of this film, because people have said for many years you cannot take his first-person narrative and make it into a film. I think you've done that."

Luhrmann said: "For me that was about as good as it could possibly get. If we've done anything, that's made it worthwhile." The director also revealed that the book sold more copies last week than it had throughout the author's lifetime.

Topics:  cannes film festival the great gatsby

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Why this actress wasn't embarrassed by nude photo leak

Leslie Jones source Bang

'If you wanna see Leslie Jones naked, just ask,' she said

Dad's Army comic genius Jim Perry dies

Jimmy Perry, the creator of Dad's Army.

Dad's Army series captured all that British people savour

Check out some fashions from the Coast festival

FASHION: Ocean Zen range.

Images from the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival show what's hot

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.