Baz Luhrmann is nothing short of a genius, never mind the wildly mixed reviews of his latest opus. His computer-generated depictions of extravagant, buffoonish early-1920s excess are precisely what makes his "Great Gatsby" work, just as they did "Moulin Rouge," his 2001 turn-of-the-20th-century farce.
The cast certainly does its part. Heavy hitter Leonardo di Caprio is believable as Jay Gatsby; Carey Mulligan does her part as Daisy Buchanan and Elisabeth Debicki (Jordan Baker) is just beautiful. Tobey Maguire and especially Joel Edgerton also deliver as Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan respectively. However, character development takes a back seat to Luhrmann's fast-paced storytelling and sheer ability to express a grand vision. This has nothing do do with Jack Clayton's 1974 "Great Gatsby," which emphasized the acting of its stars, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. If anything, Luhrmann demonstrates his ability to interpret a literary classic by seating characters in the second row.