Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio is making some noise on the streaming side of the business as one of his popular films is at #5 on the HBO Max streamer.
The Great Gatsby is a 2013 Baz Luhrmann film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the famously wealthy Jay Gatsby, a business magnate who lives to host extravagant parties. Joining DiCaprio is Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan in the prime role as Daisy Buchanan, Joel Edgerton as Daisy’s forlorn husband Tom. The excellent cast also includes Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke.
For those of you who have read the 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald classic novel of the same name, the updated Luhrmann film remains nominally faithful to Fitzgerald’s prose. The differences, though, start at the offset of the film and are interspersed throughout the movie. Those who are not followers of Fitzgerald’s novel may not even know or notice the changes.
Luhrmann’s film is set in 1929 and finds Nick Carraway, a World War I vet, in a mental hospital undergoing treatment. He begins to explain to his doctor about a certain Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), a man Nick finds to be one of the most hopeful he’s ever known. As a way to help Nick, his doctor suggests that Nick put pen to paper and document his history with Gatsby.
We move back seven years to 1922 and Nick is living in New York, renting a small cottage in West Egg, next to the hefty mansion owned by Jay Gatsby. Nick has the pleasure of dining with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her domineering husband, Tom.
Daisy decides to play matchmaker for Nick with an attractive and famous golfer, Jordan Baker. After their introduction, Nick returns to his home to see Gatsby standing by the harbor and the Buchanan dock.
As they get to know each other better, Jordan begins to detail the lives of those around them. She dishes to Nick that Tom has a mistress, Myrtle Wilson (Fisher), whose husband George (Clarke) owns a garage.
Finally, Nick receives an invitation to a Gatsby party. When he attends, Nick meets up with Jordan as both then meet the infamous Jay Gatsby. Gatsby takes a liking to Nick, inviting him to lunch in Manhattan and then to a speakeasy where Gatsby introduces Nick to his business partner, Meyer Wolfsheim.
Jordan continues to explain to Nick life around them, she tells him Gatsby’s story of how he started a relationship with Daisy years earlier and how he is still madly in love with her. She says Gatsby throws the lavish parties in hopes that Daisy would one day attend one.
Finally, the two meet up again and Gatsby and Daisy begin an affair. Daisy then tells him she wants to run away with him, but Gatsby prefers her to get a proper divorce.
Secrets spill as troubles and jealousy begin to rear their ugly heads. As things begin to boil over, Gatsby is able to tell Nick his story – he was actually born penniless and under a different name and how he had asked Daisy to wait for him until after the war and he made something of himself. Daisy instead married America’s Wealthiest Bachelor just months after the war ended.
Tom, now knowing Gatsby and Daisy are having an affair, has but one thing on his mind. Revenge. Does Tom get it? What about George and his unfaithful wife, Myrtle? If you know the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, you may know how this story plays out.
Baz Luhrmann brought the Roaring Twenties world of Jay Gatsby to life from a script he co-wrote with Craig Pearce. Luhrmann had a beginning budget of $105 million and his award-winning film (Academy Awards for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design) brought back nearly $354 million at the box office.
For Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby simply represents another film in the long line of hits he’s performed in. Gatsby followed Leo’s despicable, yet memorable, turn as Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino’s hit film, Django Unchained.
Shortly after Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio went on to grab a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street. Two short years after The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio would finally take home the Best Actor Academy Award for The Revenant. In total, DiCaprio has been nominated once for Best Supporting Actor (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) and five times for Best Actor (The Aviator, Blood Diamond, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Revenant, and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood).
Leonardo DiCaprio looks to keeps his career on a roll as he has the comedy Don’t Look Up ready for release. He also is set to reteam with Martin Scorsese in Killers of the Flower Moon.
Leonardo DiCaprio then will appear in The Black Hand, based on the true-life story of NYPD cop Joe Petrosino, who in the early 1900s took a ruthless Italian-American gang. Leo will stick with true-life stories as he then jumps from good guy to bad as serial killer H.H. Holmes in the TV series The Devil in the White City.
Leonardo DiCaprio can be seen in The Great Gatsby on HBO Max.