The big shocker of “Transformers: Dark of The Moon” was that Michael Bay’s sense of visual composition and scene-geography, which had regressed into being almost pure ADHD nonsense, had suddenly been restored to something resembling actual filmmaking… and the cause seemed pretty obvious: He’d been made to shoot the movie in 3D, which (presently) requires longer takes and deliberate compositions in order for the effect to work and massively-cumbersome rigs to be created – the process had, seemingly, cured him of his worst habits by effectively strapping a cinder-block to his camera.
Now, it appears 3D might have worked the same magic on another hodgepodge auteur; the badly-in-need-of-a-hit Baz Luhrman. Below, the trailer for his big XMas Oscar Bait release, “The Great Gatsby 3D.”
It’s just a trailer, but if it’s an accurate representation of the final product this is easily the best looking thing Luhrman has ever turned out; all his strengths (opulence, enthusiasm, earnest bravado) with his weaknesses (see: everything after “Romeo + Juliet”) seemingly mitigated by the technology.
What’s left is the truth of the matter: Love him or hate him, Luhrman is perfect for this material; and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a real treat to see a version of “Gatsby” go all-in on the era-appropriate exuberance and ribaldry that previous attempts haven’t quite captured. The “Roaring” 20s is a fascinating period, but it’s seldom been done justice onscreen – partially because so much of what made the period interesting in terms of art, culture, fashion and social behavior went back to being taboo after The Depression/WWII… in fact, in many respects we’re only just now getting back to where we already were then.