5 Ways Baz Luhrmann's Gatsby Could Have Been Great
4. A More Disciplined Musical Score.
Luhrmann, whose films have been strongly associated with music (the DiCaprio-Claire Danes version of Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge,) obviously thought Gatsby would be a great way to work in one of his trademark mashups. Luhrmann cleverly deploys new versions of songs like Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love,” the latter done like a 1920s torch song that would have been listened to on a 78 rpm record.
But there are also contemporary rap songs featuring Kanye West and Jay-Z (an executive producer of the film), which seem thrown in to capture the imagination of today’s youth and throw off the sense of being transported to another time. Young people who aren’t interested in your themes and subject matter are not likely to be bought off with a little hip-hop, though. A soundtrack consisting entirely of familiar contemporary songs done in 1920s style would have been ingenious.