Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Terence Winter

MV5BMjIxMjgxNTk0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjIyOTg2MDE@__V1_SX214_
Martin Scorsese has a knack and keen ability for making villains or just horrible people out to be humans one sympathizes with and almost roots for to win. In his Oscar nominated film, The Wolf of Wall Street, we may not entirely agree with the decisions that the main character makes, but we sure as hell get drawn into his world and magnetism.

The Wolf of Wall Street
is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). He was ruthless and desired one thing above all, to be rich. He quickly landed a job on Wall Street as a stockbroker and learned the ins and outs of not only stocks, but how to prey on the emotions of people to manipulate them and take their money.

He opens his own brokerage firm with Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and creates a boiler room company that sells penny stocks and hires his own hoodlum friends to join in on the scheme. He names the firm Stratton Oakmont, with a lion as a mascot, the company sounds intelligent, grounded and financially smart, at least to most people who know nothing about stocks and trading.

tumblr_n36gdj5dKn1qe3aixo1_500

Gordon Gecko said, “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” and Belfort would undoubtedly agree with him. Set in the 90’s the film is just on the heels of the time when the Gordon Geckos of the world ruled and not only is greed the motivating factor for all the debauchery that ensues it is also the downfall of his empire.

tumblr_n31x1hfQl31tqjkj4o1_500

The movie takes the viewer on a wild ride of drug usage; think snorting lines off a hooker’s behind and gulping Quaaludes down with booze. Most of which is done at work and on the house as Belfort offers up pleasures one could desire in between phone calls and lunch breaks and promises Chanel suits and expensive cars over his daily motivational work meetings. These temptations make his employees work harder to acquire those material goods and money, only further entangling the people on the other line with emptying out their pockets to them.

tumblr_n2z52gp06I1qaayleo1_500

What Scorsese delivers is a ride along with Belfort that would please Bacchus himself. He utilizes wide shots where the viewer is able to encompass everything that is going on from a marching band entering on the right to people having sex in a corner. It’s as if we are viewing the world literally through Belfort’s eyes, taking it all in and wanting more each time.

tumblr_molkb0AJtn1r06msmo6_500

The film is narrated by Belfort which is an interesting directorial choice, but one that we have seen before with Scorsese. Similar to the format of Goodfellas, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) narrates the entire film and we get a first hand perspective as to what was going on in his head and what drove his decisions to do awful acts and conspire with gangsters. This narrative device works similarly in this movie because the story that plays out is Belfort’s; it is what he believed happened and what drove him to live this type of lifestyle.

tumblr_myha2gxZgb1rrst0go1_500

The actors in this film are superb, DiCaprio, Hill, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal (yes Shane from TWD), to name a few, all do a great job at capturing the essence and feelings of people who are living lives filled with greed, both the people making the money and those who partake of the riches. Margot Robbie plays Belfort’s second wife Naomi, she really takes what could have been a simplistic character to another level. She is raw and gritty and a great newcomer to Hollywood.

untitled6789

DiCaprio is phenomenal; he is able to capture every nuance and feeling of the character and to take it to another degree. In one way, this almost reminded me of his performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, he really pushes himself to delve deep into the character and gets at the heart of the emotions of the story and seemingly delivers it with ease. Although Belfort is a thief, DiCaprio plays him as charming and has this appeal that would make anyone want to his dirty deeds for him.

tumblr_mw86dh6mCp1ru95qpo1_r1_500

Hill is like a firecracker on screen, you let go of the firecracker and you want to see more, you want to see it explode and he does just that, to the point that we forget it is Hill himself. The guy who did stoner-boner movies has now turned into a bonafide actor and plays off DiCaprio just perfect as his big-toothed sidekick.

untitled654

One of my favorite scenes in the movie was in the beginning when Belfort was still green and he goes to lunch with his new boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) who schools him on how the world of Wall Street works. What makes this scene priceless is the presence of McConaughey, who although just appears for a cameo part, really sets the tone for the entire film. The way Belfort admiringly looks at him when he beats his chest and snorts cocaine is so odd, yet fascinating. Did you know that McConaughey was just doing that in between takes, but it ended up getting used for the film?

tumblr_moiy9sFdBs1s9816mo1_500

Overall great movie, I don’t think it could have beat out 12 Years A Slave, it was bad timing, maybe had it been another year, Scorsese, Winter and DiCaprio could have won, but this year it was just too tough. If you haven’t seen it and you waited forever like I did (like I always do), go do yourself a favor and check it out.

}}Melissa

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

  1. Like others, I too thought it was long, but damn if it wasn’t entertaining! Not as good as 12 Years, DBC, or Her imo, but better than Gravity, American Hustle, and Captain Phillips. Not gonna comment on Nebraska or Philomena as I have not seen those yet.

    But overall, a great piece of cinema. Great analysis.

    • Thank you movie man! I agree it was better than Gravity, American Hustle and Cap Phillips. I really liked American Hustle but it was def better. Yes Nebraska is on my to do list at the moment. 🙂 We’ll have to discuss once we both see it.

  2. Good review. Though it’s late in his career, Leo still shows us that he can surprise the hell out of us and gives us an even clearer-idea of why he’s considered one of the best working as of right now.

  3. Great review! : ) This is my favorite film I’ve seen in the cinema so far this year (came out in January in the UK so I can count it as my top 2014 movie). ; ) Sooooo wish Leo could have won the Oscar. Shame it was such a tough year! This is actually my favorite Scorsese movie now.

  4. Nice review. It was a tough year for awards, the competition was immense. I agree with you, in another year this might have taken something home. Matthew McConaughey was definitely the funniest thing about this one 🙂

  5. I loved this movie!! Oki, shoot me, it beat out 12 Years A Slave for me, hands down, no two ways about it (though don’t get me wrong, that was a fantastic movie too!). This was my movie of 2013, just fantastic! Great review Melissa!

  6. Great review, Melissa. I totally agree (obviously since this one made my Top 10 of 2013). It isn’t as good as 12 Years and DiCaprio isn’t as good as McConaughey (or Hanks), but Wolf is a darn fine film that had the misfortune of a rough release year.

  7. Pingback: A movie based on true story – A wolf of wall street | Tashify

  8. Glad you liked it, and nice review!
    The Wolf of Wall Street is without a doubt one of the most insane, crazy and enjoyable films I’ve seen in a while, showcasing a career high from Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, who cranks up the energy and impact for maximum result.

  9. Pingback: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) | FTWMovies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s