This is an epic, but how do you define that? Is it the 3 hour run time? Is it the amazing entertainment value of the movie? Is it because this is something that’s never even been glimpsed at in cinema? It’s all three.
The Wolf of Wall Street follows the real life (mostly) story of stock broker Jordan Belfort who rises up the financial ladder with his company Stratton Oakment through illegal business activity. On his way to accumulating absorb sums of money he fucks, snorts and buys his way into every situation you could possibly imagine. The film tracks his rise and his fall and even includes a cameo from the real Belfort himself.
To start, the acting is great. Everyone surprisingly nails their accents including newcomer Margot Robbie who plays Jordan’s alluring wife. DiCaprio, as always, nails it. He plays Jordan hysterically, chaotically and almost unbelievably. Maybe next time on that Oscar. Jonah Hill extends his acting range with a funny side kick role to Jordan and the sheer scale of some of the shots throws hundreds of actors and actresses at a time in shot who all manage to create something truly special; insanity.
The film is all over the place, just like Belfort’s life. We get introduced to one character, then another. Naked women are everywhere, sex is frequent, full frontal nudity, hard drug use. This isn’t one to take the kids to. (Or the girlfriend; I made this mistake myself and sat awkwardly for three hours trying to forget what I’d seen.) On face value the whole 3 hours are extremely funny; underneath they successfully convey a haunting and despicable picture of what money can do. Here, the film pulls absolutely no stops. If you’re watching it thinking you couldn’t feel more uncomfortable, I guarantee you will. In the end though, it is worth it. As the curtain closes you feel you’ve been on a genuine journey and learned a genuine lesson. Just watching the experiences of Belfort is enough to take your breath away and exhaust you. However, you won’t give a shit about the message, the film is just too much damn fun to make you care about anything. Scorsese gives us another fantastic movie here and for that I thank him.
What’s bad about it? Nothing really, just a forewarning that those who are easily offended, don’t bother. You’ll only twine and ruin it for the rest of us.
Brilliantly directed, shocking, hilarious and a riot. The Wolf of Wall Street shines like Belfort’s car. Even he couldn’t spend a better tenner than buying this on DVD.