Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese creates a lavish work of art with his latest film The Wolf of Wall Street. The film stars three-time Academy Award nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, as real life stock broker Jordan Belfort. The Wolf of Wall Street is Scorsese and DiCaprio’s fifth and arguably their best collaboration together (previous films Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and Shutter Island). Their latest hit narrates the disturbing tale of stock swindler Jordan Belfort, on his rise and fall on Wall Street.
Despite The Wolf of Wall Street receiving harsh critiques due to its obscene and graphic context, this film is not to be missed this awards season. There are only two cons of this film, one is the length. It is 165 minutes, so be prepared when going into the theater to stay awhile. There are some scenes of partying that could’ve easily been cut out and the audience would still grasp the concept of the troubled character. The only other con is the amount of lewd scenes shown throughout, which again could’ve been cut. There’s a lot of drug use, nudity and sexual content. There is also a lot of foul language. The film just recently now holds the record for the most uses of the F-word in a mainstream non-documentary film, (it was said 506 times).
The film focuses on the corruption of Wall Street that was led by one man who started a small business in Long Island selling penny stocks to poor unfortunate souls that gets suckered in to Belfort and the rest of the sleazy salesmen he hires. As Belfort and his men become billionaires their lives consist of money, booze, drugs and hookers. His office is a free for all and he holds meetings by throwing parties and motivating his workers with powerful speeches he preaches off the top of his head.
Aside from the aforementioned paragraph, the acting in this film was legendary, especially from the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio. As a big fan of the actor, and having seen almost every single film he has made, this role might just be his best yet. His character is something audiences haven’t seen from DiCaprio. Although similar to the character he portrayed in the 1995 flick The Basketball Diaries- a troubled yet intelligent man that struggles with his inner demons through drugs and corruption- his recent portrayal of Jordan Belfort, is bigger and more destructive than anything he’s ever done. DiCaprio is capable of creating several layers of this character throughout an entire three hour film. The beginning of the film he breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience and tries to narrate his life, he’s just starting out as a broker on Wall Street, and trying to make a living. But, when his boss decides to influence him that the only way he’ll succeed in this business is to adapt a lifestyle of drugs and prostitutes, everything begins to go awry. DiCaprio emerges as this energetic money fiend, high on drugs and thoughts of only making more and more money. Jonah Hill should also be mentioned for his portrayal as Donnie Azoff, Belfort’s best friend and right hand man. Hill is enjoyable to watch because he does have a natural flare for comedy and although the film is a crime drama, Hill offers a few minor comedic breaks. He too, creates a character that comes from nothing and then develops into a complete monster of a money grubber and the thirst for more.
In conclusion, The Wolf of Wall Street is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys Martin Scorsese films and movies with Leonardo DiCaprio in a role that hasn’t been done yet. Also to anyone who enjoys films that are packed with selfish characters that are abundant in materialistic goods but are bankrupt in what matters most in life, with the belief that money will never buy happiness and sometimes the most important possessions in life, aren’t possessions, but people that are there by their side picking them up when all is lost. Check out more of my reviews at The Movie Diaries!