on 3 September 2014
I enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street. I'm not convinced it's up there with the best of Scorsese but for a 3 hour movie it flew past in a whirlwind of excess and was certainly never dull.
It's based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort about his sky highs and depraved lows as a stock broker on Wall Street in the 1990's. It may be a lazy comparison but the film shares much with Goodfellas in terms of story arch and structure - Belforts rise and rise to become The Wolf and the inevitable crash and burn that must follow.
Leonardo DiCaprio of course plays Belfort and puts in another cracking performances, narrating and anchoring the tale in a similar fashion to Ray Liotta/Henry Hill from that previous Scorsese classic. There's great support elsewhere from Jonah Hill and a whole raft of familiar faces including a memorable cameo from Matthew Mcconaughey. It's all ably directed by Martin Scorsese, bringing the stylistic flourishes you'd expect, perhaps the main reason it all flies past so breezily.
Admittedly it's probably not going to be to everyone's taste - while there's not much violence of any description, there's a huge amount of bad language, shed loads of nudity, copious drug use and a distinct lack of a moral compass. Pretty much how I imagined Wall Street in the 80's and 90's to be honest.
on 15 January 2015
An adaptation of Jordan Belfort's memoir chronicling his rise and fall on Wall Street and his hard-partying, addiction-fuelled personal life.
Welcome to Martin Scorsese’s 22nd feature film, another of his examinations of the rites and rituals of a particular sect, be it the wiseguys of ‘70s Little Italy ( Mean Streets ) or the society scions of late 19th-Century New York ( The Age Of Innocence ).
With its rise-and-fall arc, its hedonism and hubris, its gleeful exploration of the dark side of the America Dream, its money, crime and narcs, its sex, drugs and rock’n’roll (though the soundtrack also takes in Madness, Simon & Garfunkel and a fair bit of Euro pop), The Wolf Of Wall Street forms a loose trilogy with GoodFellas and Casino. And if it can’t quite match the energy and quality of those classics, it nonetheless stands as Scorsese’s finest for 15 years.
When we first meet Jordan Belfort, he’s more pup than wolf, his lowest-rung job at L.F. Rothschild requiring him only to “smile and dial”. A first-day lunch with big boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey, hilarious) sows the seeds of the chaos to come, though: Hanna advises him that the stock market is “all fugazi” while preaching the worthlessness of morals and the necessity of greed, cocaine and, to stay relaxed, jerking off twice daily. Then, on 19 October, 1987, the very day Jordan becomes a licensed broker, the market crashes and Rothschild goes under.
Jordan joins a penny-stocks firm in Long Island, employing a bunch of expert salesmen (mainly weed) from his old Queens neighbourhood and making Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill, terrific) VP despite his phosphorescent teeth and shoulder-slung pastel sweaters.
The triumphant result is named Stratton Oakmont, and if there’s one thing these guys know how to do, besides sell, it’s party – Jordan blows $26,000 on a lunch, is married to a model, shags prostitutes five, six times a week, and hoovers Quaaludes, Xanax, cocaine and morphine. It’s only a matter of time before the FBI (in the form of Kyle Chandler) come calling…
Perhaps deciding the crazed behaviour is enough, perhaps thinking he took stylistic verve as far as it could go in GoodFellas , Scorsese shoots largely with a static camera. His use of whip pans, crash zooms, freeze frames and tracking shots proves so infrequent that Spielberg, visiting the set, suggested he might want to move the camera. But TWOWS is far from muzzled.
It is, of course, all part of Scorsese’s plan to charm viewers into accepting Belfort’s outrageously selfish, unthinkingly cruel behaviour. It works, too – more so because Terence Winter’s ( Boardwalk Empire , The Sopranos ) screenplay cleaves to our anti-hero, refusing to investigate the fallout of his misdeeds as he steals from rich and poor alike to line his own pockets (and mirror). It’s a decision some will take issue with, just as some, justifiably, accuse Scorsese of being in thrall to his gangsters.
But this is Jordan’s tale, and it’s sold by a magnetic, never-better DiCaprio.
A touch too long, yet never slack, at three hours, TWOWS benefits from independent funding, Scorsese’s brass balls and an A-grade cast’s turbulent improvisations to emerge as an epic, boldly broad screwball comedy about the state of America, then and now.
Despite the US censors trimming back the screwing and swearing, this is an audacious, riotous epic. Scorsese and DiCaprio’s fifth and best pairing, it’s liable to give the Academy a heart attack.
on 16 June 2014
best movie ive seen in ages! and im fussy! Leonardo DiCaprio gets better and better! he really really suits the role of high flying, drug obsessed stock broker. Be warned it is a looong film but by the end you'll still want more! great 80s tunes in it aswell! you couldnt ask for a funnier movie! the movie follows true story, Jordan Belfort's life from innocent, optimistic, starting out in life but after meeting Mathew mcconaughey's character and a recession in the market he changes to drugs, hookers and fraud. Its all downhill from there though and it follows his downfall. Only wish the movie showed more of his arrest and restitution's made.. all in all if you havent seen it, you need to!
on 3 June 2015
It started promisingly, not brilliant but a fairly standard rags to riches good boy turns bad story. Then it was ridiculous, OK I get the lavish, excessive rather repulsive lifestyle but there was far too much of it and none of it was mildly amusing, in my opinion. Then the film just goes on, and on, and on and on and on......I have to admit that I switched off before he got arrested because I just couldn't take any more. I've given this two stars, one because Leonardo Di Caprio is brilliant, he makes himself completely unlikeable which is a rare skill, and another star to give the benefit of the doubt because the film may have improved, I neither know nor care.
on 3 September 2015
Do not watch this with teens in the room !!! I found this film, although about greed and self gratification, to be funny witty, if not ion the tad rude side, Leonardo DiCaprio pulls out all the stops, and does a great job playing a drug induced, sex maniac, obsessed with getting Rick and will sell fresh air to anyone to get the money, yes we all know The wolf was fraudulent and there are victims but those victims where also greedy and wanted get rich quick schemes. However the film will have you laughing, crying and shocked at the same time !! How we miss the 1980s money to be made !!!
on 25 June 2015
Greed and lust. There’s the plot in two words. Want some more words? Lies, drugs, sex, swearing, and of course, money. This is the terrifyingly true story of the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, a man in the late 80’s went from conning the working-class to opening Stratton Oakmont, where his illegal dealings went mass market. Belfort is a hedonist; snorting coke, popping Qualuudes, and sleeping his way through New York. But his biggest addiction lies at the heart of the film: money.
The Wolf of Wall Street is mesmerising and unyielding. You are sucked into an incomprehensible world, where there’s a hooker every day and throwing dwarves is a reasonable thing to do. And that’s just in the office. It’s sleazy, it’s immoral, but you can’t tear your eyes away.
A mixture of hilarity, vulgarity, and violence; it engaged every emotion from laugh-out-loud laughter, to jaw-dropping surprise, to pure horror. At three hours long, the film was pushing it, but considering the amount of excess lavished in the film, what are minutes alongside everything else?
Credit where credit’s due (which is something the stockbrokers did not say), the film is genuinely funny. DiCaprio has once again proved himself by playing a despicable character, and his versatility is shown as he slips from smooth salesman to drugged-up crack-head. Belford is utterly unlikeable, yet completely watchable. He has no morals, no guilt, which is important because as much as we enjoy watching him, we never empathise with him.
Whilst watching, we’re all Jordan Belfort. The film is like one of his Qualuudes dropped in water, fizzing and ready to explode as we start to swig it in. It takes us on a high; we’re drawn into a dysmorphic world that is nothing is like the reality we live in, and we can’t get enough of it. But the crash is hard and painful, and only on exiting the cinema do the thoughts creep in. Why are we so obsessed with greed? Why were no victims shown? And is it okay that Belford is profiting with his new-found celebrity?