Here is the second instalment in my “Road to the Oscars 2014” segment, and today I’m reviewing “The Wolf of Wall Street” which is brewing up a storm of Oscar controversy, Oscar nominations and general interest.
What’s it about?
Based on true events, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a stockbroker, who, after getting his big start with the help of his eccentric boss, Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), starts his own business with the help of his friend, Donnie (Jonah Hill) and takes the stock market by storm. He begins to lead a life of drugs, sex and crime all while coming home to his beautiful wife Naomi (Margot Robbie), but his empire may come crumbling down when the FBI begins to investigate.
Directed by the amazing Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street” begins with laughs and gives us a consistent supply of them throughout its entire 3 hour run. Yes, it is that long and while at times it certainly feels it, the general light and humorous tone in most parts kept me entertained to the fullest.
Leonardo DiCaprio carries the entire film on his chiseled shoulders and gives a great performance. He embodied both the hardworking, likeable boss type and the despicable character that we see as the film progresses. There’s a very natural presence to his on-screen performance and I truly can’t imagine anyone else playing the role. Could he win a Best Actor award at the Oscars? It’s highly possible.
The supporting cast play their roles well. Jonah Hill and DiCaprio have very genuine chemistry, as does Margot Robbie and DiCaprio, both relationships are very different and you can tell that the two of them play pivotal roles in Jordan’s life. It’s noteworthy to mention that McConaughey truly steals the show and gives perhaps the most memorable scene in the whole film, you’ll find yourself annoyed that he didn’t have a bigger role.
What I applaud out of all of it, is that it’s truly unapologetic in it’s graphic scenes of nudity and drug taking, which adds the realistic effect that is essential in this “true” tale.
The problem I had was that some scenes were hilarious, granted, but they felt very unneeded and didn’t benefit the story whatsoever, they were hugely unrealistic in a supposed movie based on real events. In those moments it went from a black comedy to a cringeworthy slapstick movie.
All in all, Wolf is a highly enjoyable film that sucks you in from the very beginning, the penis jokes wear thin after a while, but it’s truly the acting and directing that stand out. If you’re a prude then I’d give this movie (that features a ton of un-consequential drug taking and nudity) a miss.