Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann is a director who makes movies sparingly but he is back this week with his new film The Great Gatsby.

The Great Gatsby is the first film for Luhrmann since Australia back in 2008 and sees the director adapt the much loved novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Luhrmann kicked off his directing career back in 1992 when he helmed romantic comedy Strictly Ballroom.

The movie was based on a stage play that Luhrmann had developed while he was studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts before he made it into a theatre show at the end of the eighties.

He wrote the screenplay for the movie as well as directed and he brought Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice and Bill Hunter in to star.

Strictly Ballroom follows a maverick dancer who is trying to succeed with a new partner and risks everything by performing a new and unusual routine.

The movie was a huge hit and went on to become the most successful Australian film of all time.

As well as picking up a string of Australian awards it also won a Bafta and a London Critics Film Circle award, as well as being nominated at the Golden Globes.

Luhrmann had successfully grabbed the world's attention with his debut movie and he over the next few years he went from strength to strength.

In 1996 he brought an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet to the big screen as he worked with actor Leonardo DiCaprio for the very first time.

While the movie kept all the Shakespearean dialogue it was set in a more contemporary setting as Luhrmann balanced these two contrasting elements perfectly.

The movie really helped raise the star of both DiCaprio and Claire Danes as they took on the title roles.

Made for just $14.5 million the movie was a hit when it grossed in excess of $147 million at the global box office.

Luhrmann scooped the Best Director Bafta for his work on the movie and was also nominated for the Golden Bear Award for Best Picture at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Fans of Luhrmann had to wait until 2001 to see his next movie grace the big screen... and it came in the form of Moulin Rouge!

This is perhaps the most loved of all of Luhrmann's work as he teamed up with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.

Written by Luhrmann the movie follows Christian, an English writer, who falls in love with the terminally ill Sabine, star of the Moulin Rouge and courtesan.

The movie was another huge success for Luhrmann as it went on to be nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture; losing out to A Beautiful Mind.

There was a seven year hiatus for Luhrmann before he returned in 2008 with the rather epic Australia.

Australia saw him reunite with Kidman while he worked with Hugh Jackman for the very first time.

The movie follows the love story of Sarah, and English aristocrat, and an Australian drover set against the backdrop of the Second World War and the bombing of Darwin.

The film was a hit in Australia but struggled in America. At the end of its theatrical run the movie had grossed just over $211 million; it was not the box office or awards hit that many were expecting.

Since Australia the director has been working on a series of short movies but now he is back.

He has teamed up with DiCaprio for the first time since Romeo & Juliet as well as casting Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, Isla Fisher and Joel Edgerton.

The Great Gatsby follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz, bootleg kings, and sky-rocketing stocks.

Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan.

It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super-rich, their illusions, loves and deceits.

Baz Luhrmann has gained a reputation for making visually stunning and lavish movies and it seems that The Great Gatsby is going to carry on that fine tradition.

The Great Gatsby is out now.

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