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 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.
The film has had mixed reviews both from critics and indeed reviewers,
having watched the film, I can easily understand how after watching the
movie a reviewer could easily give the film 5/5 equally I would understand
a score of 1/5.....it's that sort of movie, you either love it or hate it.
A Film by acclaimed director 'Martin Scorsese' actually based worryingly
on real events.
'Jordan Belfort' gets hooked by the cut and thrust of the world of stockbroking
at an early age, he's taught by a skilled fraudster, and soon gets used to the
When the Stock-Market crashes, 'Jordan's new-found lifestyle seems to be on
the slide, however a newspaper advert noticed by his first wife gets him back
in the saddle.
What he'd learnt in his earlier position, he uses to feather his nest, corruption
had become a way of life.
Setting up his own trading centre, natural progression.
The money soon roll's in life-style changes take hold pretty speedily, there is in
truth more money coming-in than he and his staff know what to do with.
'Jordan' earning himself the name 'The Wolf of Wall Street' because of his
predatory style of trading.
Interest from the press draws unwelcome attention from the F.B.I.
The Film - a constant stream of partying, drug taking, mixing with prostitutes with
frequent nudity sequences, and of course dodgy dealing.
Crude, rude and loud......over confidence could well prove to be 'Jordan's' downfall.
Not sure I'd go along with the film being incredibly funny, though there are moments,
a sequence where 'Jordan' get's high and is trying to return to his car, is, in truth
absolutely priceless, and there is a certain irony to the story's outcome, it's actually
American humour does not always sit well with many this side of the 'Atlantic' I myself
did find the film 'a little in your face' so to speak, after watching the first two hours,
I left the final hour for another night, but am pleased to have taken time out to do so.
Special Features -
* The Wolf Pack.
* Running Wild.
* The Wolf of Wall Street.
* Round Table.
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 !!!
Based on the real life memoir of Jordan Belfort, we follow the rise of this young, hungry stockbroker (DiCaprio) who learns the quick way to the top unscrupulously. From living on the poverty line, to living a lavish life of wild parties, drugs, sex, fast cars & his inevitable downfall by the FBI.
The Wolf of Wall Street's almost 3 hour run time is an excessive charting of the eccentric people Belfort comes into contact with or surrounded by in the industry, that indeed he himself soon turns into an equally eccentric, unrecognizable person from that young, hungry stockbroker he started out as. Initially for the first hour it is an interesting journey of rags to riches with a little skirting of the law & bad boy behavior. As the next hour & 45 minutes delves deep into the greed & mass excess lifestyle of drug addiction, sex addiction, relationship implosion & FBI/SEC agencies coming knocking as things spiral out of control. This movie isn't a serious dramatic offering like 1987's Wall Street but instead a satire with a mixture of silly & subtle comedy styles spread through the film. The comedy scenes with DiCaprio & Jonah Hill in particular were the ones that i enjoyed the most. The satirize approach means the drug addiction & sexual content goes way over the top, from snorting cocaine from hookers bottoms, to mass orgies etc... with little time passing without scenes of one or the other & F-bombs every other word. Indeed it is more a film about focusing on the excess & greed , than it is a film with characters you actually care about or follow much in the way of development after the first hour. Martin Scorsese behind the camera is pretty spot on in immersing you into this lifestyle, from the rowdy trading floor to the mansions & excessive parties. Along with some neat touches of Goodfellas-esque narration & one particular funny car journey from the country club with an interesting twist.
Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) carries the film impressively as you can't take your eyes off him, featuring in pretty much every scene, his acting quality is consistent & never wavers. He has a great supporting man in Jonah Hill (21/22 Jump Street) whose acting chops are well & truly established, he's given a chance to show off his unique silly comedy style here in different extremes & gives you an idea of the realms of excess the movie goes into with his more outre humor. There is a host of good supporting talent including Matthew McConaughey (Mud) as an eccentric stockbroker, Jean Dujardin (The Artist) as a shady Swiss banker, Kyle Chandler (Super 8) as a dogged FBI agent & Joanna Lumley (The New Avengers) as an English cougar...i mean rose.
In conclusion, The Wolf of Wall Street is a satire on the life of Jordan Belfort which succeeds in charting the macho, unscrupulous methods & excessive lifestyle route to the top as these untouchables come crashing down to Earth. But at almost 3 hours long it was too indulgent, repetitive & morally hollow. Contains strong language, violence, mature themes & sexual scenes (full frontal nudity). Worth a watch.
on 25 August 2015
Very absorbing film, based on a true storey, a guy who goes from nothing to owning the biggest trading company on Wall St, but with the drugs, booze and the high life catch up with him, the dodgy dealing on shares the FBI investigate him, and the inevitable happens, he is arrested, the only thing is its not a conclusive ending, you feel like something is missing, but apart from that, its a very good film, well worth watching.
on 27 July 2014
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is an overly long black comedy about a crooked Wall Street broker who makes his fortune in the 1990's. The lead role is played with gusto by Leonardo DiCaprio who seems to have subscribed to the Jack Nicholson school of acting.
The whole movie is so completely over the top with a large amount of foul language, sexual depravity, drug abuse and general bad behaviour that it is hard to believe that it is supposedly based on a true story. Its this outrageous behaviour that gives the movie its best moments though as you can't help but laugh at the hedonism on display.
Unfortunately though for most people with any sense of morality the characters portrayed in the movie are a group of the most unlikeable, unethical, greedy and dispicable people you can possibly imagine. If you consider that people like these were responsible for the worlds financial difficulties in the new millenium you wonder who it is you are supposed to empathise with. There are many similar movies dealing with the rise and fall of drug dealers, and it seems that anti-heroes are popular with cinema audiences at the moment. I found it difficult though to sit through a three hour long movie where all the main characters were scumbags and there seemed to be little moral judgement of their behaviour.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" has its moments, but it is far from being a classic Scorsese movie. The film never convincingly feels like it is set in the 80's and 90's and while they obviously had fun filming it I noticed a large number of continuity errors between shots which was surprising for such an experienced director. You can't help but compare this movie to the old Michael Douglas film "Wall Street" of which it seems to be an updated, more exagerrated version but one with a lot less charm.
I can't claim to be the biggest fan of either director Martin Scorsese or star Leonardo DiCaprio, but in the case of "The Wolf of Wall Street", both men really do push all the right buttons.
DiCaprio is simply outstanding as "hero" Jordan Belfort in this saga of gross hedonistic excess and sleazy corruption in wheeler dealer New York in the 90s. It's a long film, but Scorsese keeps a firm hand on the tiller, and the pace, and with it the viewer's interest, never flags. Throw in a sassy, intelligent script, and some wonderful ensemble playing from the supporting cast, and you've got a winner.
"The Wolf" is by turns cynical, coarse, bitterly satirical and very funny. It may offend some of those of fainter heart, but it's an enormously entertaining and satisfying piece of work.
The above quote is attributed to Jordan Belfort, the real life rogue trader who set up "pump and dump" Long Island stockbroking firm and who is portrayed in 'The Wolf of Wall Street" as a daredevil sybarite with an appetite for drugs and prostitutes (both A-list). The film is a crazy, more often than not over-the-top black comedy staring our boy Leonardo DiCaprio (simply put: amazing), Jonah Hill (a good laugh) and Matthew McConaughey (charismatic as always).
In theory, Belfort is an American anti-hero, he embraces the destructive and obnoxious side of the late twentieth century America with its obsession on all things material and capitalism generally. Belfort's extravagant antics (from illegal money making machine to money laundering) in the nineties helped, it is believed, to get the financial crisis of 2008 on its way.
The three-hour saga of life (and near-death, a number of times) of the sexist, witty, self-deprecating and occasionally romantic Jordan Belfort is deranged and exhilaration, everything about his life (and the film itself) is excessive. Yes, the screen play is witty and the characters are all fantastic (and fantastically portrayed), the film is enjoyable, but only, I found, in the first 90 minutes or so. Then it becomes somewhat tiresome. And the moral? Is there one? Vanity Fair accused 'The Wolf of Wall Street" of praising and glorifying criminal behaviour and lack of morals in the finance, food for thought, eh?
The bottom line: Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic, when you are tired of the repetitive imagery of endless cocaine parties and naked women, he shines his artistic star. DiCaprio carries the film to its glorious (and long-awaited) finale!