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May 11, 2013

Luhrmann brings Gatsby new life


I’ve been a fan of director Baz Luhrmann ever since I saw his 1996 interpretation of “Romeo + Juliet,” also starring DiCaprio as Romeo, and Claire Danes as Juliet. I also loved his work on “Moulin Rouge!,” the musical starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.

Something about Luhrmann is so undeniably him; I think it is a combination of the emphasis on music and the beautiful visual effects he uses in all of his films.

Whatever it may be, as soon as I saw the first trailer last May, I knew immediately that it was a Luhrmann film, and that it would be a good one.

And speaking of Luhrmann’s use of music, I cannot begin to explain the excellence of the Great Gatsby soundtrack. Kanye West, Jay-Z and Beyonce, to Florence + The Machine, Lana Del Rey, The XX and Jack White are featured on the album, all contributing some of their best work in a long time.

Beyonce’s song is a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” and features Outkast’s Andre 3000. Although I am a huge fan of Amy and love the original track, Beyonce’s interpretation is very different and works very well for the film, so despite criticism I have heard, I enjoy that it is on the soundtrack.

Florence + The Machine’s song “Green Light” was written specifically for the film, and works perfectly within it. I think I smell an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2014.

All in all, “The Great Gatsby,” whether it is the book, movie or music, is not to be missed. If you have not read the book, I highly recommend doing so before seeing the movie; not that I believe the movie missed much, but the book in and of itself is one of the best I’ve ever read and every one should experience it for themselves.

Maggie McVey, a 2012 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a freshman at the State University College at Plattsburgh. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at

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