• Cinematic opulence- Baz would do it all better in 2001’s Moulin Rouge!, his masterpiece, but this is more than just a flawed rough draft—it’s a gorgeous and inspired precursor
  • The opening is a jaw-dropper—Luhrmann showing off- jump cut heavy, freeze frames, during a sort of gun-play showdown he emphasize parts of the body in close-up (eyes, feet only) like a Leone film
  • Flourishes of primary color, expressionistic lighting- fireworks—all Luhrmann trademarks. We have the occasional intentional high-speed overacting which is effective
  • It’s a sizeable achievement for both Claire Danes and Leo (and whoever cast them)—the initial meeting with the fish bank is inspired—I”ll say it here—Leo is very fortunate to have met Scorsese and worked with him from 2012-2013 (so far) in five films but Leo could always act- he’s superb here
  • Close-up heavy
  • It’s a great take on the Bard—Luhrmann may not be Welles or Kurosawa but I’d take 5 more of these Shakespeare adaptations from him
  • Like Moulin Rouge! We have pop music out of time/place and it’s effective—“Prince” here
  • Excellent setting Harold Perrineau’s Mercutio death on sage with a Ferris Wheel and beach—set piece heaven
  • I see costume influences from The Warriors and all around influence of Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange
  • Blue neon around the crosses in set design and mise-en-scene— another highlight are the candles during here death- this is inspired expressionism that leads to the devastating finale
  • Recommend – could see it moving higher with repeat viewings and time to appreciate the artistry at work