Directed by: Martin Scorsese
: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort
Starring by: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Crime, Drama
Jordan Belfort is a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.
Reviewed bynotoriousCASKVote: 9/10
It's no surprise that Scorsese is associated with the gangster genre with films such as The Departed, Goodfellas and Casino, of which the last two are possibly the best pure examples of the genre. In Goodfellas the gangsters are dangerous but they operate on a more underground level, in Casino they practically run a major city and can do whatever they like. The gangsters were and will always be a part in America's system. Now, the gangsters are not just accepted by the system, but are considered to be an integral part of it. In the first two films, the gangster is threatening and dangerous, but avoidable. In The Wolf of Wall Street, he's calling to hustle you at home and you don't even know it. Some people view The Wolf of Wall Street as a glorification of Jordan Belfort's lifestyle and want to be like him, as Scorsese portrays this life by its nature, enticing. That's the way it works, and it's impossible to portray it accurately without showing how a charismatic man like Belfort can suck an unsuspecting person into a world of money and fame. The film though, shows us just how empty and destructive that life can be.
There is an undeniable similarity between the instantaneous joy, energy and euphoria that we have while watching The Wolf of Wall Street and how Jordan Belfort lives his life, this is a movie where the director skillfully mixes form and content to create an experience which is as hyper and as instantly ecstatic as the life of its flashy and opportunistic characters.
The direction by Martin Scorsese which still has infectious energy and power is impeccable, there is no other director who has mastered pacing like he has. This is a three-hour movie that moves lightning fast and always manages to keep the audience invested in the story throughout the whole duration. Each scene is packed with so much visual information, and it is fast paced and quickly edited, which complements the general tone of the film. The cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto is gorgeous as well and displays an optimal color palette throughout the whole film. Each shot also looks precise, even during some of the more chaotic scenes.
The script is fantastic, filled with many great and memorable lines of dialogue. Every character has a well-defined arc and motives, and the story is given proper breathing room to blossom. The performances are also exquisite, especially Leonardo DiCaprio who gives one of the best performances of his career and portrays the opportunistic nature of Jordan Belfort's character with great commitment as you can see a lustful, hedonistic and impulsive sex & drug-addict man who only wants to have more fun. Supporting him with equal passion is Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff, Belfort's sidekick, and even he manages to make a mark of his own. Margot Robbie plays Naomi, Belfort's second wife and she does an alluring job in her given role. Matthew McConaughey is in for a very short duration as Mark Hanna, Belfort's mentor, but even in that little time, he is the show-stealer and he dominates the screen unlike anyone else.
Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter set out to create a film about the Wall Street excess, and by definition, it contains an excessive amount of everything, such as cursing, sex, nudity, drugs, alcohol and partying. But the film is not really about those things. The story of The Wolf of Wall Street boils down to money, that "most-addictive drug" Belfort speaks of, and not just what it can buy, but what it can do to people. Not just how it changes one's lifestyle but the effects it has on one's morals, beliefs, and values, and how it can effectively change not just how a person thinks and feels but how they operate at their core.
With a collection of truly incredible films, The Wolf of Wall Street stands out as one of Scorsese's best films, my personal favorite and by far his most humorous film to date. He truly went all out and it paid off in a hilarious satire on the reverence of money, drugs, women, and the admiration of a criminal money-maker. The Wolf of Wall Street is maddening cinema that's already high on coke but still continues to snort more white powder every 5 minutes for 3 hours. This is a fascinating vignette of excess, greed, abuse and decay and it's one of the best movies of the decade and surely one of the most entertaining movies ever made.
Reviewed byClaytonDavisVote: 9/10
Martin Scorsese has done it again. His newest and most refreshing effort he's contributed to the world of cinema in years, The Wolf of Wall Street is a roaring thrill ride that is both absolutely hilarious and meticulously constructed. It also presents Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in possibly his finest acting performance of his career. At one-minute shy of three hours, I was both engaged and hypnotized nearly the entire duration. A comedic epic that studies the behavior and cultures of a time in America, feels like the uncovering of a time capsule that was buried and dug up to give insight into our current financial crisis. Much more than just laughs, it turns on the dramatic elements early enough in the film to warrant considerable reactions about the choices of our key characters. Expertly paced with intelligent moral questions presented, The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the best films of the year.
Telling the story of Jordan Belfort, a young Wall Street broker that gets involved in drugs, money, and even more drugs during the 80's and 90's. In his tenure trading (and stealing), Jordan marries, divorces, does drugs, marries again, does even more drugs, makes solid friendships, and believe it or not, does a lot more drugs. Watching the destruction of Jordan acted as a documentarian's insight that felt like I was watching "Intervention" without the family that cares. The Wolf of Wall Street is a black comedy, giving hints of drama. Natural comparisons will fly to Oliver Stone's Wall Street which is accurate but you can see subtle hints of films like Trading Places, Glengarry Glen Ross, and even American Psycho. That's a testament to Scorsese's outstanding direction and Terence Winter's masterful screenplay. Scorsese keeps Wolf life-size, sprinkled with characters that are both geniuses and morons, but functioning morons. They're like the frat pack group that sat in a corner on my college campus, being loud and obnoxious, and made terrible life choices that they still aren't aware of until this day. Scorsese puts together an all-star cast to inhabit these beings that includes DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bernathal, and Kyle Chandler. All of which seem to be having the time of their lives.
A lot of the credit of the film's overall success has to be awarded to Leonardo DiCaprio. I've never seen him truly "go for it" in a way that he exhibits as Jordan Belfort. In his breaking of the fourth wall, to his long but completely engaging monologues about life, money, and greed, it's the most assured and compelling work by the actor to date. When DiCaprio unleashed his talents in the mid-90's in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and later stole the hearts of tween girls everywhere in Titanic, who knew this is the role he'd been gearing up to play. This is the role of his career and something that the Academy Awards should look to for his long overdue recognition. It's a charming and adventurous turn that presents a conundrum to the audience as we find ourselves both enamored and loathing the pure essence of Jordan. A sequence of DiCaprio crawling on the floor will probably be the scene of the year. This is DiCaprio's crowning achievement.
As the magnetic and cheesy-minded right-hand man, Jonah Hill's performance as Donnie Azoff is another great turn for the 30-year-old actor. He's allowed to explore some of his comedic ticks and beats that he may not have ever had the opportunity to explore in films like Superbad or 21 Jump Street. In Wolf, he relies on his own instincts, and his chemistry with DiCaprio, which has helped him before for his Oscar-nominated work in Moneyball opposite Brad Pitt. Matthew McConaughey, is one scene shy of winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. While his work in Dallas Buyers Club will bring him the acclaim and recognition that he deserves, The Wolf of Wall Street is a prime example of what he should be doing when he's not working or seeking out the strong, independent features that are geared for awards recognition. Stealing every frame and focus from DiCaprio in his ten minute screen time, McConaughey utilizes all his charm and spunk as Mark Hanna, the mentor to young Jordan as he started out.
Like any great Scorsese film, the women are in full-force and given the opportunity to shine like the others. Cristin Millotti, a toned down and tragic version of Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny, is sensational in her brief appearances on screen. Beautiful and sympathetic, she offers much needed serious and dramatic elements to Jordan's outrageous antics. In the end, a star is born in the gorgeous and vivacious Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia, Jordan's second wife. Whoever was going to be cast as Naomi, had to be an actress of considerable talent and had the ability to really be the sexy kitten but still warrant an emotional reaction from the audience when called upon. Margot Robbie was the perfect choice and she'll need to owe Scorsese royalties for years to come with the roles she'll be offered following this. Robbie is pure magic and is everything she's required to be. She's the more elusive, compelling, and more thought out version of Scarlett Johansson's character in Don Jon.
I loved every second of The Wolf of Wall Street. Terence Winter's script is a natural and well-oiled machine that produces the words of a demigod. You couldn't make these things up. Thelma Schoonmaker is the utmost professional and continues to shine film after film. You won't find another dedicated and glossed editing work this year. The other supporting actors do sensational work especially Kyle Chandler, who has a very well-constructed exchange on a boat with DiCaprio, has us asking more and more, why is this guy not helming his own films on a consistent basis yet?
Reviewed bybkoganbingVote: 8/10
The Wolf Of Wall Street details the rise and fall in real life of one Jordan Belfort who for a while was living high and wide off of other people's money. It was good while it lasted until some relentless FBI agents took him down partly because of his own hubris.
Leonardo DiCaprio as he did with such other real life figures like Howard Hughes and J. Edgar Hoover, each of who lived large in his own way with power, DiCaprio lives large with money. At first it's the realization of the American dream, DiCaprio the middle class kid wants to go on Wall Street. He goes, but then is one of thousands cast adrift by the stock market crash of the late Reagan years. DiCaprio is not about to give up his dream.
He organizes his own brokerage house, similar to what is seen in the more modestly financed film The Boiler Room. But DiCaprio takes it far from a penny stock outfit. With a collection of his own ill assorted bunch of friends chief among them is Jonah Hill, these guys and I do mean it is reserved for the male of the species DiCaprio makes obscene amounts of money and spends it obscenely. That is sure to attract all kinds of law enforcement attention.
I have seen very few films that have depicted the alpha male world so well. Women just do not compete in DiCaprio's world. All they serve as are sex objects. Women work on Wall Street in the more traditional brokerage houses, but not with him where being one of the boys is the first requirement. The world consists of 50% orgies and 50% piling up paper profits and later on hiding them from authorities. True of DiCaprio and true to a lesser extent of all his associates.
Martin Scorsese directed this film and handled the film like he did one of his gangster epics like Goodfellas. The narration of the film is by DiCaprio and it takes you from his rise to where law enforcement has him between a rock and a hard place. Like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas a combination of drugs and hubris makes him think he's invulnerable. But in Goodfellas would not have had a scene where the wise guys just out and out dared to challenge the FBI as DiCaprio does with agent Kyle Chandler. It so reminded me of that famous incident from 1984 where presidential candidate Gary Hart dares reporters to follow him around to catch him doing anything outside his marriage. And of course they did.
Five Oscar nominations went to The Wolf Of Wall Street, nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and nominations for DiCaprio and Jonah Hill as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Hill was something of a revelation. The kind of nondescript character that you wouldn't look at twice, Hill gets taken to a world that he could only imagine in dreams wet or dry by DiCaprio. In his own Hill is almost as fascinating a story as DiCaprio.
The guy who beat Leo out for Best Actor has a brief but telling role as a mentor of sorts. Matthew McConaughey plays a stockbroker who takes him under his wing and they have a great scene at a club where he's getting his first three martini lunch. McConaughey only forgets to teach DiCaprio one thing, discretion.
I can understand why women would truly hate this film as they are nothing more than pawns in a male power game, but The Wolf Of Wall Street gives us a fascinating look at a man who tried to play with the big boys of the Stock Exchange and for a while, did.