Nick Carraway (Toby Maguire), a budding financier, rents a flat next door to a mansion owned by the mysterious Jay Gatsby (Leonardo di Caprio) on Long Island during the Jazz Age, 1922 to be exact. Nick’s cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her husband Tom (Joe Edgerton), live in a mansion across the inlet where a green light flashes at the end of the dock – beckoning or warning?
Gatsby throws extravagant parties that the rich and famous attend uninvited. The only invitation that Jay ever sends is to his neighbor, Nick. Nick’s encounter with Gatsby leads Nick to write later that the man had an “extraordinary gift for hope.” But it is hope built on a grand illusion for Jay is in love with Daisy and now that he has his fortune, real but of suspect origin, Daisy is married to Tom. Gatsby wants Nick to help him win Daisy back.