Scorsese’s latest film, The Wolf of Wall Street is a three hour, fast paced wild ride through a lifestyle filled with gratuitous amounts of sex, drugs, and of course, money. How lucky we are to be along for the ride! It’s fun, hilarious and mixes well between all the very dark moments throughout the film.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a real life Wall Street broker turned tycoon. His beginnings are humble enough, especially after a set back early in his career, but it actually turns into a silver lining where he learns to sell “pink sheet” penny stocks to suckers and make a killing on the commission. He assembles a team of brokers, who are basically ambitiously greedy men who can sell anybody anything, and starts a company. It grows from working in an old auto body shop to a big time office building quickly.
The business is mainly a background to all the debauchery and fast living Jordan and his gang get into. With all their money they seem invincible. They are able to get and take a copious amount of drugs and drink the finest booze at the nicest beach houses or biggest yachts. And everywhere these guys go, office, home, parties, you name it, they have women ready and waiting. There are crazy scenes that make the office look more like a drunken bacchanal than a place of work. And it’s all laid out with dialogue that would make a sailor cover his ears (through no N-word, though it is referred to as the N-word, it is not said).
So just a small word of caution to those who are a little squeamish about too much sex, drugs or profanity in movies, you might want to sit this one out. It’s a lot of everything, and tops the charts for the most uses of the F-word. Some things were edited out to bring the film down from NC-17 to a hard R rating. It took some slick editing just to make a quick trailer fit for television.
But oh my God, it’s so f–king great! DiCaprio leads the gang with gusto, lets us into Jordan’s crazy lifestyle and all the ups and downs wonderfully. I especially love the way he breaks the fourth wall throughout the film. The style reminds me a bit of Goodfellas. He gives Jordan so much charisma, despite all his devastating flaws.
Steering the film with DiCaprio is Jonah Hill, as Jordan’s second in command, Donnie Azoff. Between the look of his character (chubby with dorky glasses and goofy teeth), his body language and everything he says, he is a perfect riot. He steals so many scenes in the most outrageous ways and always has some witty line to deliver perfectly. I walked out of the theater convinced that Hill would get an Oscar nomination, and I was right.
The Wolf of Wall Street earned a total of five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and best adapted screenplay. Martin Scorsese earned his eighth nomination for best director. Along with Hill’s nomination for best supporting actor, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for lead actor.
One unforgettable scene is when Jordan and Donnie take an old drug, called lemons. Since they’re pretty old, they take more than they should, attempting to reach a new high. Once they kick in, it’s an awful, terrible riot. No, I don’t find drug abuse funny, but the way DiCaprio and Hill portray such an intense hit is hard not to laugh at, even when Donnie nearly chokes on lunch meat. And now I can never look at Popeye the same way again
“The year I turned 26 is the head of my own brokerage firm I made 49 million dollars, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of a million a week. No, no, no. My Ferrari was white like Don Johnson’s in Miami Vice, not red.”
Great review. And agreed on most every point.
Nice review Alyson. A long movie, but still a whole bunch of fun that I rarely ever felt bored with.
Thanks for the warning in the 4th paragraph…I count myself as one who is really weary of gratuitous sex and violence…and screenwriters who seem to think that the “F-Bomb” passes for great dialogue. I shall pass on this one and thank you for saving me 3 hours of a negative experience.
You’re welcome, Ken. The commercials and trailers do not give viewers a fair warning for what they’re really in for.
I thought this was a very entertaining film. Even at three hours it didn’t feel long at all. Good review.
Thanks Chip, I got to the theater and didn’t realize how long it was and when it was over couldn’t believe how quickly the 3 hours had passed.
I was quite happy to find that Scorsese is back to making movies about despicable people doing despicable things, this is certainly better and also more entertaining than some of his previous efforts. I was among those would who felt the film could easily lose half an hour, as I lost attention at some parts, there was a bit of redundancy (sure, to make a point of excess, but still). Good to see that DiCaprio finally looks like a grown-up person, and also good to see that Jonah Hill has other abilities than those shown in the last decade. Maybe another step towards a good career in good movies? Thanks for your review! My notes on “Wolf” at http://thomas4cinema.com/2014/01/29/the-wolf-of-wall-street-martin-scorsese-2013/
“Despicable people doing despicable things” sums it up well, Thomas! I’m excited to see what lies ahead for Jonah Hill, who ever thought the chubby kid from Superbad could go so far so quickly?
“So just a small word of caution to those who are a little squeamish about too much sex, drugs or profanity in movies, you might want to sit this one out. ” lol I think you are understating it. More like, if you are remotely squeamish, dont touch this with a 10-foot clown pole.
I’m calling it for Leo for his Oscar this year. Jonah Hill was also great, and that “delayed drug hit” sequence made me wet my pants a little, I was laughing so hard.
I can’t tell who will get lead actor this year, but I’m hoping it’s Leo, the man deserves an Oscar already!
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