Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street [2013]

Maybe the best director-actor couple team up once again to make something they have not done either together or separately. The Wolf of Wall Street is absolutely different film for both, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, two people who have brought to us The Aviator, The Departed and Gangs of New York. And I shall say that The Wolf is not alike any of them, because, at least, it is a confusing mixture of comedy and drama. Frankly, I never thought of Martin directing a comedy. Well, he took his chance.

Movie tells a story of Jordan Belfort (Leo) a wealthy stockbroker who has grown to most influential person on The Wall Street. Based on the book by Belfort himself, it tells a precise and detailed story how Jordan raised from very bottom to the very top of stock empire with assistance of bunch of weed sellers. But it is not just a story of success, but it is a story of failure & addiction to things most young and rich people suffer from: greed, drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, corruption.

In the first half of film, which lasts god damn three hours, we see how amazingly Jordan creates his empire, how he understands concept of working on stock market, how he steals into minds of costumers. I would say, he as a businessman has flair - a key to success in any field you work. And also, he is greedy, which is good, because as long as you are wanting more, you get more, but whenever you cross the line of legality, you start failing. This is what Martin tried to illustrate in another half of The Wolf.

Let's start with some of the dignities of this film. First would be Leonardo who absolutely disappeared in his character, as if he absorbed real Belfort and brought him as realistically as he is.
Watching his performance did not feel like watching an actor doing an act, it was a real person, a real stock broker who just gets richer in front of your eyes. Every scene, every emotional breakdown, each look felt totally real. This maybe not my most favorite role of DiCaprio's, but it's definitely one of the most mature ones.

Jonah Hill is also wonderful as Donnie - a crazy, super talented partner of Jordan. He is a great supporting cast member, delivering quite funny and entertaining performance, with some good drama scenes. And, frankly speaking, I don't remember any of other cast members, but I do remember that they were doing pretty well.

Martin Scorsese who maybe did not direct the best film of his career, still did an amazing job by transforming this uniquely interesting story to entertainment driven film. The way he dealt with this three hours long huge mass is quite impressing. Film Editing is mind-blowing. Thelma Schoon-maker, who won all her three editing Oscars for Martin's movies, made a fantastic shuffle of scenes. The movie develops and moves so fast that you hardly catch up and editors work help the entertainment very much.

OK. Here we came down to problems. Despite all above said, I had a  problem with plot. Though The Wolf is well written, with interesting and dynamic dialogues, I found the story itself slowly, because the first part is too long and it gets to the point late. There are thing that could have been done in a better way, for instants, the FBI part, which in reality is the core issue in Belfort's story, but it does not say much in here. Moreover, I think the film focuses on Jordan's private life, parties and entertainment too much, so I get a feeling that there could have been some more interesting details to tell.

I don't know why, but I was not that much entertained as I expected, or others say they did. Maybe because I did not find any of it to be funny. I am a hard guy to make laugh while watching movies, but actually I found all these to be an irony, which is not funny for me. There are movies that are outstandingly well made in any cinematic way, but just don't work for me. The Wolf of Wall Street is one of them.

Oscar chances?! Best Picture, Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay seem to be a lock. The Wolf is a very different movie this year, so it can easily make any Best Picture list. Martin Scorsese seems to get his 7th directing nomination. All in all, he is The Martin Scorsese. And as for Leonardo DiCaprio, give that man his well deserved (lifetime) Oscar. He seems to get stronger for Lead Actor race. Well actually, he can not only get a nomination, but even easily win, because his character is so much different from others and he puts so much heart in it, that it can bring him a gold. Also, Jonah Hill who is Academy's favorite, can make Supporting Actor nomination, if the voters will be mad about the film.

4 comments:

  1. Definitely agree that the film is phenomenal with the performances and lewdness. And, if the FBI investigation played a longer more established role, the movie would've been even better. That said, it was overall fantastic! Nice review!

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  2. Thanks Katy. Yup, this really was a good film that could be even better.

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  3. I liked the film more than you did, but I'm glad you liked Hill. He was fantastic and such a perfect casting for Donnie.

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  4. Agree, can't imagine anyone better for this role

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