One of the biggest releases of the summer is the biopic Elvis, based on the life of the legendary performer. While a lot of the talk has been about Austin Butler in the lead role and whoever did the makeup for Tom Hanks. It also marks the return for director Baz Luhrmann, who hasn’t had a feature film on the big screen since 2013. In honor of the big return, this week’s Binge Watch is looking at four of his famous feature films for those that want to explore more.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
About: One of Luhrmann’s earliest and most memorable films, this one updates the classic tale to the modern era and dropped Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio into the lead roles. It had a modern, stylish vibe, as befits the Luhrmann style. This is the kind of story that’s been oft re-told, and it works here for the most part. Still, it’s not a cinematic style I love, as you’ll see following this week’s lineup.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
About: So many people loved this film, which was a musical featuring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Again, there’s a beautiful style to this film. It’s a hit to many, including members of the Academy that nominated it for eight Oscars, including Best Picture. It even won two Oscars. Here’s the thing, I hated this film. I don’t get the love for it. I saw it once and that was more than enough for me.
About: A sprawling epic set in pre-WWII Australia. This one is a love story starring Kidman and Hugh Jackman that spans nearly three hours. It’s at times a ridiculous film and it’s probably too long. But it felt like something epic, and it felt like a love letter from the director and stars to the nation. It has its moments.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
About: Another classic tale, this one kept in its correct time period but with modern musical flourishes. This one has a stellar cast, including DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan. It’s not incredible but it was a decent watch. It might well be my favorite of Luhrmann’s films.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.