Oscar season is here and what that usually means for most people is that some of those movies might be on their top 10 “best of” list, and most of those movies probably won’t play to your local area until the next year when you already made your top 10 list and that is where The Wolf of Wall Street plays in.
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who runs the firm Stratton Oakmont and that said firm was under investigation of securities fraud and Wall Street corruption through the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese, who needs no introduction if you already know what movies he worked on in the past (and he worked on classics that many people are aware of) and is written by Terence Winter, creator and writer of HBO’s Broadwalk Empire.
The movie chronicles through his period of working his way of becoming a stockbroker. It may have worked at first with getting a job at a Wall Street firm but that went belly-up but he did manage to bounce back with leading a lifestyle of lavish parties and a lot of wild sex and drugs (and there is a lot of sex and cocaine and Quaaludes…..dem Quaaludes, man.) and that’s both in the workplace and in the personal lives.
And speaking of that for a minute, I heard of most people either walking out of the theatres and even most Academy members and critics dismissing because of the crazy scenes that either had sex or drugs or profanity and I now know why they tried to get this to a R-rating because if there’s going to be a NC-17 cut of this, I think they would get more offended than before and luckily for me, I really did enjoy watching this. Most of the scenes are very humorous and compelling as I do feel invested in knowing the story and these characters (whether I liked them or not) but if I got one flaw about this, I do feel the movie’s length and it is a 3-hour movie, not that I mind because I don’t mind if it’s 3 hours. Hell,
I watched Django Unchained in theaters last year and I like the movie. However, it didn’t felt slow to me, at least not in the first 30 minutes; an hour – that’s a maybe. But possibly two hours in – yeah, that’s when I felt the length of it.
There is also the comment of how the movie is glorifying this type of lifestyle, which I can say that is very false and misguiding. I will admit that I did enjoy some of those scenes but that’s at an entertainment value and the movie did its job for being entertaining but it does acknowledge that Jordan Belfort, either the character or the real life persona, is one fucked up man and a real asshole. I don’t think anybody was cheering for that dude to succeed. He was cheating on his first wife to have an affair and even on that relationship, it wasn’t going worthy but I’m not spoiling anything from that and basically he used all that money he made from unsuspecting people to do all that shit I just mentioned earlier and saying that it wasn’t a satirical takedown makes it even more ridiculous because most of us imagined those guys doing that with some people’s money anyway.
For the acting, Leonardo Dicaprio excelled fine with his portrayal as Jordan Belfort and also works well with some physical comedy. Jonah Hill does also bring some good acting chops and comedy onto the screen and other supporting performances from Margot Robbie as Naomi (Jordan’s later wife), Kyle Chandler as the FBI Agent Patrick Denham and even Matthew McConaghey in a very small 5-minute role but it is very effective and vital towards Belfort’s development in the movie for what he turns into and there’s also Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau and also Jean Dujardin. The direction and writing is very top notch, witty and you’ll be guaranteed for some drama, comedy, and essentially a good movie.
FINAL VERDICT: Yeah, this isn’t a movie for everyone. There’s no doubt about it but it doesn’t clarify that this isn’t a good movie. This is actually one of the best movies I have seen in 2013, even though I saw it in 2014. If I were to do my list again (which I won’t, that’s too much work), I would place it in #3 or 4 and possibly take off the #10 and put that on my honorable mentions.
And with that, Wolf of Wall Street gets the grade of….
9/10 – A-
And until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the Quaaludes and coke to the party.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET – courtesy of PARAMOUNT PICTURES / RED GRANITE PICTURES