A teaser for The Master was released the other day, now The Great Gatsby, and I wonder if we’ll be getting something soon from Les Miserables, or perhaps even Django Unchained, seeing as some of the early hyped so-called award contenders seem to be flexing themselves this week.

Many of you have written asking for commentary on the first preview for Baz Luhrmann’s 3D remake. I’ll say what everyone else is saying: it’s very Baz Luhrmann, at least the first half. Which means Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet but set in the 1920s and designed to get the attention of the people who are overstimulated by Twitter and video games. That’s the audience now, isn’t it? Didn’t make me super excited, nor did it disappointment me; I still want to see it but not any more than I did already. So...I guess we are where we started? Although you’ll note, the trailer begins as Baz Luhrmann and, by the second half, sort of becomes...

Martin Scorsese.


From the 1:25 mark there’s a tonal shift and suddenly it’s Casino meets The Aviator.

But aesthetic isn’t what’s most notable to me. What’s most notable is what’s happening or what isn’t happening between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Gatsby and Carey Mulligan’s Daisy. Do you feel it? I don’t feel it. I don’t feel the spark. They’re nuzzling and naked and still I don’t feel a spark.

Leo’s the one who’s working on a 20 year career with multiple nominations while Carey, though certainly widely acknowledged for her talent, is newer and younger so I know your first instinct might be to blame it on whether or not SHE was the one properly cast. But I’m not sure she’s the one who’s less convincing.

He looks great, gorgeous even, in this movie. But it’s been a long time since Leo properly fell in love in one. In fact, he spent a lot of time after Titanic deliberately not falling in love at all as a primary plot point on screen. Revolutionary Road is about the dissolution of a relationship not the genesis of it. In Inception he wanted to save his dead wife in his dreams. Love was certainly a motivation for those characters but the story didn’t hinge on the romance.

Daisy however is Jay’s entire existence. The entire narrative is built around how hard and hopelessly he loves her. He’s obsessed. I think what I’m having trouble with then is whether or not Leo can do hard and hopeless love anymore since he’s spent so long striking that off of his skill-set. And I don’t mean being believable in a love scene when he’s grabbing an ass. I mean being believable as the guy who pines for a girl representing a world that he can’t buy. That relationship hinges on his intensity. Is Leo doing that for you?

I really want him to. But I’m not sure, in this clip here, that that’s what I’m seeing.  But trailers are often not representative. I’ll not put too much weight on this one then.