The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill
December 25, 2013
"The Wolf of Wall Street," for the lack of a better term, plays out like a three hour long high that one could have. From the moment the "drug" starts, it shoots adrenaline and pure debauchery across the screen, grabs you by the throat, and never lets you go. As the magic of the "drug" progresses, the high becomes even more absurd to the point that you can't help but laugh at how pathetic and coked out of their minds these characters are. Once the second half of the film kicks in, it goes from being an insane, hilarious, and fun party of debauchery to a dark, shocking, and jaw-dropping depiction of the downfall of the central character Jordan Belfort. This movie is not going to appeal to everyone, but for those who are able to take the risk and just let it all sink in, I think that they are going to fall in love with Martin Scorsese's latest. I know I sure did.
To say that Leonardo DiCaprio is a talented actor who's constantly snubbed by the folks running The Oscars is like saying that an apple is red, meaning that this is and has been a known fact for quite some time. With the character Jordan Belfort, Leo not only shows how devoted an actor can be to his role, but it also shows that he's one of the most talented film actors currently living. If Leo doesn't at least get nominated for his work in this film, then it shows that the Academy simply doesn't like him for some reason. Almost equally as great is Jonah Hill, who might have given the single best performance of his career in this movie. He is about as bonkers and as insane a character as Belfort, and yet not even as despicable. Every actor in this film gives performances to be remembered, but it is Hill and DiCaprio that you will be talking about when you're walking out of the theater.
I find it absolutely astounding that Martin Scorsese, a 71 year old director, still has it in him to make a film as energetic and as crazy as this is. The fact that he's able to make things like this and "Hugo" shows that he's able to adapt to times and make films that still appeal to the general movie buff. Not to mention, this is some of the best directing I've seen all year. Scorsese is able to take these characters and these plot points and turn them into possibly the best acid trip you'll see this decade. Plus, the editing for this film is outstanding as well, being able to envelop the audience in this insane mayhem being presented on screen, ranging from small people being thrown at giant dart boards to an orgy commencing in a plane. If this wasn't a Scorsese picture, I don't think it would have worked as well because it's his name on the poster and his vision behind the camera.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is not a movie that will appeal to everyone. Many will criticize its obnoxious characters, constant use of nudity, drugs, and profanity, and the fact that the film is three hours long. In fact, I was worried about whether or not I'd enjoy this film because these despicable characters are never likable throughout the movie. However, the difference between the characters here and the characters in, say, "Pain & Gain," is that we, the audience are supposed to laugh and be shocked at the acts taking place right before our very eyes. "Pain & Gain" tries to make us sympathize with these horrid people and have us be on their side, which in the end doesn't prevail. Thanks to the superb acting, sharp and fresh script from "Sorprano's" writer Terrence Winter, and the fantastic direction from Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is absurd, hilarious, dark, and one of the best movies of the year.
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