True to form then, initial reviews for what is arguably 2013's most eagerly awaited film have revealed splits over the Australian's characteristically lavish treatment, which includes a soundtrack produced in collaboration with Jay-Z.
"This enormous production begins by being over-the-top and moves on from there," announced the Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy , who nonetheless gave an overall seal of approval, describing the cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as "first-rate" and concluding that "the ambience and story provide a measure of intoxication".
Paying the film what might, in some ways, be the ultimate tribute, the review went on to compare the moment when DiCaprio's Gatsby first appears on screen to the point at which viewers first see the protagonist of Citizen Kane.
Less enamoured was the US entertainment industry's other major trade publication, Variety, which decried: "It comes as little surprise that the Aussie auteur behind the gaudy, more-is-more spectacles Moulin Rouge and Australia has delivered a Gatsby less in the spirit of F Scott Fitzgerald's novel than in that of its eponymous antihero – a man who believes bejewelled excess will help him win the heart of the one thing his money can't buy."
"More often," added Variety's chief film critic, Scott Foundas, "Gatsby feels like a well-rehearsed classic in which the actors say their lines ably, but with no discernible feeling behind them."
More hostile still was Alonso Duralde, writing for The Wrap, under the headline: "How Many Flappers Make a Flop?"
"The cardinal sin of this new 'Gatsby' is that it's dull," wrote Duralde, who concluded that it marked "the official moment in which Baz Luhrmann's signature style has become self-parody".
The film, which is released in the US on 10 May and in the UK on 16 May, received a warmer reception from Indiewire, which described it as "a guilty pleasure, a swirling, audacious piece of cinema" which could provide a crowdpleaser for young audiences.
In the same review, Anne Thompson goes on to conclude however that "this overproduced slimmest of narratives becomes repetitive, at two hours and 23 minutes".
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