2013, Movies

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013, Martin Scorsese)

This is basically the Goodfellas of stockbroker films. It’s got so many things in common with his earlier masterpiece that I don’t really want to go into it. (I feel like going into it would take too long and, frankly, I am worried I wouldn’t do the most complete job.) Scorsese has created another brilliant film about a criminal who is essentially a criminal just because he enjoys the lifestyle, only this one has even less of a background for it. The film is extraordinarily well-paced for its length, it’s well shot (we would expect nothing less), and Scorsese’s penchant for contemporary (and even more current) sound cues serves him well this time out.

In addition to that, it features a number of excellent performances, not the least of which is by DiCaprio. (For example, check out the Quaalude scene, which has to be one of the finest pieces of physical acting you will ever see from such a big star. Seriously.) It’s a truly fantastic film and the only thing really keeping me from giving it full marks is the extraordinarily strong sense of deja vu I got from the whole thing. (I have seen Goodfellas a number of times, and the majority of Scorsese’s other films – though hardly all of them – and I feel like this is his most Goodfellas-ish film outside of Goodfellas, though the stories are somewhat different.)

PS Some people think this film is amoral – and therefore deficient – because Scorsese treats his audience like adults and doesn’t beat them over the head with the message. But let me say this: if you think what Belfort did wasn’t wrong, or if you think his life looks glamourous – well, the problem isn’t with the film, it’s with the viewer.

9/10

  • Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Produced by Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Emma Tillinger Koskoff
  • Screenplay by Terence Winter, Based on The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
  • Starring
    • Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort
    • Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff
    • Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia
    • Kyle Chandler as Patrick Denham
    • Rob Reiner as Max Belfort
    • Jon Bernthal as Brad Bodnick
    • Matthew McConaughey as Mark Hanna
    • Jon Favreau as Manny Riskin
    • Jean Dujardin as Jean-Jacques Saurel
    • Joanna Lumley as Aunt Emma
    • Cristin Milioti as Teresa Petrillo
    • Christine Ebersole as Leah Belfort
    • Shea Whigham as Captain Ted Beecham
    • Katarina Čas as Chantalle Bodnick
    • P. J. Byrne as Nicky Koskoff
    • Kenneth Choi as Chester Ming
    • Brian Sacca as Robbie Feinberg
    • Henry Zebrowski as Alden Kupferberg
    • Ethan Suplee as Toby Welch
    • Jake Hoffman as Steve Madden
    • Mackenzie Meehan as Hildy Azoff
    • Bo Dietl as himself
    • Jordan Belfort as Auckland Straight Line Host
  • Cinematography Rodrigo Prieto
  • Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker
  • Production companies: Red Granite Pictures, Appian Way Productions, Sikelia Productions, EMJAG Productions
  • Distributed by Paramount Pictures
  • Release date: December 17, 2013
  • Running time: 180 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Budget: $100 million
  • Box office: $392 million

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