Baz Luhrmann Rules

Sorry, Moulin Rouge haters — it’s time to unlock your cold, stone hearts. Before The Great Gatsby opens this weekend, let’s take a look at why its director is so great.

1. Baz Luhrmann stands alone in Hollywood.

2. Nobody is quite as in love with love as Baz is.

3. Like, this is basically his personal life philosophy, and where else can you get that in Hollywood?

NOWHERE ELSE.

4. And there is no one who better understands that sometimes, more really is more.

8. But Baz also knows how to capture smaller, beautiful moments, like the first time Romeo and Juliet see each other.

10. Or this lovely dancing sequence in Strictly Ballroom:

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11. Who else would have the guts to revive the movie musical — using established pop songs?

12. No one else, that’s who.

13. Baz also transformed Leonardo DiCaprio into an undeniable heartthrob.

14. Before this movie? Scrawny indie actor. After this movie? A TITANIC DREAMBOAT.

All thanks to Baz.

15. This shot alone of Leo walking jump-started tens of thousands of girls and boys into puberty.

16. Lots of people also suddenly discovered that Ewan McGregor was super dreamy after Moulin Rouge, too.

17. And let’s not forget Romeo + Juliet featured this killer adorable move from Paul Rudd.

Paul Rudd! So adorable! And who knew he could do Shakespeare? Oh wait, that’s right, Baz Luhrmann did.

18. Baz is also really, really good at filming kissing.

20. Like, it makes your heart ache, with all the great kissing.

21. That’s some crazy romantic smooching right there.

22. Even when the kissing is denied, it’s still pretty amazing.

Claire Danes is all, “I can’t even handle it with how adorable you are right now, Leo.”

23. Even secretly tragic kissing is the best.

(She’s sad because she knows she’s going to die, like, a second later.)

24. And nobody races into the cathartic ecstasy of tragedy better than Baz.

26. So so wonderfully sad.

27. Tears — so many exquisite tears.

31. Let’s be honest, though: Australia is kind of indefensibly bad. But it does have one redeeming quality.

37. And good luck with The Great Gatsby!

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