Film Review – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Eddie’s Take

Wolf of Wall Street - post

Title: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Director: Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas)

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jean Dujardin, Jon Faverau, Joanna Lumley, Matthew McConaughey

Plot: Based on the true story of Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) the Wolf of Wall Street thrusts the audience into an obscene world where making money is the game and spending it in any way possible the aim – mainly on fast cars, luxury yachts, call girls and a vast collection of  drugs and alcohol.

“Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty”

Review by Eddie on 29/01/2014

It’s safe to assume that you haven’t seen anything like The Wolf of Wall Street before, Martin Scorsese’s epic adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s true life tale that you could literally call Wall Street on Crack. That we haven’t seen anything like this before is a sure tell sign that what Scorsese and his leading man Leonardo DiCaprio have created is a black comedy unlike any other, a movie that brims with cracking dialogue and therefore acts as a stunning tale of greed, lust, drugs and excess.

Directing a script written by key Boardwalk Empire collaborator Terrence Winter, WOWS sees Scorsese on a level we have arguably never seen him on before. Jumping into the tale with both feet and both arms (and wide rimmed glasses) WOWS sees the great spectacled Italian directing the movie with a feverish intensity that sees the 3 hour run time never outstay its welcome and gives the film an energy that is hard to describe for the those yet to see it. WOWS is a film that doesn’t hold back, a film that doesn’t care if you find it offensive or if in fact you find it appealing; its a film that Scorsese wanted to proudly display to you and say “so what do you think of this?”. In a career that has so many peaks and so many varied hero’s and anti hero’s its not far fetched to say that WOWS is in the upper echelon of his films and is perhaps one of his bravest ever directional decisions, gone are many of his stylistic flourishes with the camera and in are scenes that crackle with mere dialogue (a scene played out upon Belfort’s yacht with FBI agent Denham played by Friday Night Lights Chandler a prime example of this) and a comedic sense that even outplays Scorsese’s great comedic tale The King of Comedy. If WOWS were to have been released in another year one gets the feeling that Scorsese would be getting primed to collect another well deserved statue come Oscar night, something you could say also of his leading man DiCaprio.

A key player in getting the film off the ground, DiCaprio here in his 5th collaboration with Scorsese delivers what could well be the performance of his career in one that is littered with award quality turns. Whether delivering speeches, partaking in unsavoury behaviour (which has a major role in the film) or in one particular Country Club scene physical acting of the highest order, DiCaprio fully embodies the role of Belfort and is a commanding presence in a film that needed the audience to if not like, at least be interested in a main character who never really deserves our support or affections. With such a commandeering performance by DiCaprio it’s Australia’s very own Margot Robbie who stands up most in the supporting cast with her role as Belfort’s second wife Naomi, it’s a role that will unquestionably launch her into the big leagues. In the other main supporting turn I will be critical and say that Jonah Hill’s turn as Belfort’s business partner Donnie has been overrated and while not a bad turn is also not Oscar worthy, it could however just be his distracting fake teeth that look to pop out at you at any given opportunity.

A movie that is not meant for everyone and a movie that doesn’t look to give a definitive answer on what’s right or what’s wrong in a world that many would rather ignore, WOWS is a stunningly original movie that can be admired for pure unbridled insanity and at times breaking of the third wall between film and audience. It’s a brave film, a daring one and a showcase for the great talent that is Leonardo DiCaprio. If you’re willing to accept this particular Wolf into your life you will find much to enjoy, much to contemplate and much to cringe at and in the end that’s rock solid proof that what we have here is a film that could one day be considered not only a masterpiece in its own right but the quintessential tale of what went wrong with humanity in this day and age of excess and partying.

4 and a half Quayludes out of 5

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51 responses to “Film Review – The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Eddie’s Take

  1. Great review! I agree with almost all of your points, except for the run time. I personally felt that three hours was a bit too long and would have preferred it to be cut by 30 minutes.

    • Hi Jack, cheers for the kind words. I think also that maybe the film would of had the same impact with a cut of 20 – 30 minutes. I just heard yesterday the disc release will have a 4 hour version to watch if you so choose.
      Eddie

  2. Excellent review! I loved this film and I’ve never been a huge Scorsese fan. I do think Jonah Hill was great, though, and I’ve never liked him before. Leo was amazing! I’d SO love to see him win the Oscar.

    • I really enjoyed Hill in Moneyball and quite like his comedic work but I didn’t fall in love this role as much. I to would love to see Leo finally bag an Oscar his well overdue and will sadly have to wait a little longer I think.
      Eddie

  3. Nice review Ed! I am leaning more towards your review of the film than Jordan’s, but i feel the ending somewhat let it down a bit. All in all, it was an enjoyable experience seeing it on the big screen.

    • The ending was quite abrupt but then again we know what his up to now – motivational speaking so it was a nice little touch in a way. One thing for sure I am glad I have never done Quayluudes!
      Eddie

  4. Nice review, Ed. You & Jordan should disagree more on films 😀 …Always a pleasure to read a review of same film from different perspectives on the same blog 😛

    • It’s really quite strange Clown that before this film we have agreed on all our double takes. Hoping that both of us will shortly have a 12 Years A Slave double take to share, a film we have both been looking forward to for quite some time!
      Eddie

      • Looking forward to it, Ed. I myself am finishing up with most films of 2013 before Oscars 😀 …Loved all the 5 films I’ve reviewed this year so far except for American Hustle which I found quite overrated. Next up is Before Midnight though 😛

      • Never understood the hype behind Russell’s films… He envelops an average story pretty nicely with all the eye-candy but the films are just never on any level of greatness. His films are a maximum of 3.5/5 material, in my opinion.

  5. Wonderful read! I need to visit here more often. You mentioned the breaking the “third” wall. Is that different from the “fourth wall?” Or is that what you meant?

  6. *Jaw drops to the floor.* Margot Robbie is Australian? To use a Jonah Hill quote from Superbad, “Yep, I just went from six to midnight.” God, that is entirely too sexy

    • Mate we breed them well down here I can’t deny it, has to be one of the better Jonah Hill quotes to portray it as well 😉

      Hopefully she continues to get decent roles and not fluffy rom-coms.
      Eddie

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