'Great Gatsby' stars dazzle despite damp Cannes opening
Updated: 2013-05-16 13:21
LUHRMANN UNMOVED BY CRITICS
The film, by Australian director Luhrmann who is known for extravagant productions, opened in North America last week.
Some industry insiders said Cannes' decision to invite him was a concession indicative of the cosy ties between Tinseltown and the French festival that champions eclectic, low-budget movies while also courting Hollywood.
DiCaprio has received wide praise for his performance in the $105 million production, with a soundtrack by rapper Jay-Z, but several critics have said it was a case of style over substance.
"One of the most powerful things about this novel is that it is still discussed nearly 90 years later," DiCaprio told a news conference, remaining calm despite the crush of reporters and photographers following his every move.
Luhrmann was unmoved by his detractors, particularly as the film took a larger-than-expected $51 million for distributor Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc., in the United States and Canada last weekend.
"I never get one of those big, high critics scores," Luhrmann said. "I just care people are going out and seeing it."
The opening night kicks off a busy schedule of premieres, champagne parties and celebrity spotting along Cannes' chic waterfront Croisette, with Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Watson among big names in town this year.
Cloudy skies did not deter badge holders and passers-by from cramming cafes around the main festival building, while dozens of gleaming luxury yachts in the nearby harbor prepared to welcome their wealthy guests.
From Thursday, the focus will shift to hundreds of other films screening at Cannes, while up to 40,000 film professionals will seek to snap up titles on the bustling movie market that has become a key to the festival's success.
Adding to the media buzz this year is the fact that the main competition lineup includes five US movies - the highest number in six years - from directors Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne, the Coen brothers, and James Gray.