Does Baz Luhrmann have an original bone in his body? In my opinion the answer is no.
He did once I guess – when he co-created the original production of Strictly Ballroom whilst at NIDA.
Don’t get me wrong, he does bring a touch of originality to the way he directs his movies.
“Romeo & Juliet” was a terrific update of the Shakespeare classic (his best film). “Moulin Rouge” was clever in its use of pop songs to enliven the movie musical. “Australia” was not so clever or original in his desire to bring back the old fashioned Hollywood epic – a la “Gone With The Wind”. It had the weakest of his story lines ever.
Baz recently had a workshop in New York for his proposed remake of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby“.
What will Baz do to this one? I can just imagine how over the top the party scenes will be. I can imagine just how much substance he will (not) bring to the Gatsby character – I predict a cardboard cut-out version. But this is his proposed new movie project, to be made after his proposed stage musical version of Stricly Ballroom – how original is that????
In the workshop Leonardo DiCaprio read Jay Gatsby, Tobey MacGuire was Nick, and Rebecca Hall was Daisy – not bad casting at least.
It is a pity that someone with his showmanship visual flair can’t come up with something 100% original. Vincent Minnelli he aint.