When it comes to fan favoured directors, the opinions on Baz Luhrmann seem to be pretty divided.
Some revel at his artistic flare for extravagance and theatrics, while others scowl at what they believe to be flashy, cliché and (dare I say) overly-stylised.
Personally, I’m a sucker for theatrics. The Baz-ness of every film he produces is what draws me in to see all the bold colours, outrageous costuming, and exorbitant sets that just drip of melodrama. It’s an artistic extravaganza and I adore it.
For those of you rolling your eyes at this point, I understand your plight. There is a case to be made for the often weak plots and dialogue ‘buried in a chaotic, overly-choreographed nightmare.’ We have River Donaghey at Vice to thank for that little titbit. He also added that Luhrmann’s directing style is “gratuitous, self-consciously stylized, and somehow so loud and in-your-face that it winds up being boring.” Hey, at least he’s honest.
It’s fair to say that Luhrmann is an auteur whose reputation allows audiences to prejudge a film before viewing it. His eccentric flare is why it’s so hard not to have a strong opinion on his directorial abilities.
Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby left both sides equally enthralled, but as you can imagine, for entirely different reasons.
Following the release of The Great Gatsby’s trailer, Jen Chaney of The Washington Post wrote: “Depending on your feelings about Mr. Luhrmann, the approach either suggests that Luhrmann has engaged in F.Scott Fitzgerald blasphemy or that he’s returned to red curtain trilogy form.”
Before you ask, yes. I did love The Great Gatsby. No, you don’t have to agree with me, especially seeing as a lot of people don’t.
Lately it’s Luhrmann’s role in directing the upcoming Elvis biopic that’s got people on either side of the battle line in a flurry of rage and anticipation. Besides the obvious reasoning for this being the differing opinions of Luhrmann’s directing, it’s his line-up of potential actors to play Elvis that has mustered up all the outrage and confusion.
Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Aaron Taylor Johnson and Austin Butler. If you’re thinking I’ve just given you a list of past winners of Twitter’s #WhiteBoyOfTheMonth award, I’m sorry to say you’re wrong. One man from this line-up of Hollywood’s finest white boys will play our beloved Elvis. It’s rumoured that Harry Styles is currently the front runner for the role.
Let’s take a quick look at Twitter to see how people are feeling about this news.
Not all the reactions are bad, some are even tweeting their support for one of the five boys. The most popular two so far have been Harry Styles and Miles Teller.
Other fans are rallying to have Lana Del Rey play Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ wife. I’ve got to tell you, I’m here for that decision.
In our office at FIB, the general consensus is that if one had to play Elvis, Miles Teller would be the closest pick based on appearance.
Either way, the conversation around Luhrmann’s casting choices only seems to add to frustration at his expected directing of the film. There is a silver lining though folks, Tom Hanks has reportedly been cast as Colonel Tom Parker.
I’ll leave you now to mull all this information over with some more lovely words about Luhrmann from River at Vice:
“The guy is the M. Night Shyamalan of cheesy, romantic epics. He tries too hard, fails too often, and has been coasting on the goodwill of one great movie while cranking out dud after dud for way too long. Do not let this guy anywhere near an Elvis movie, no matter which random it-boy winds up in the starring role.”
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