December 27, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street: Movie Review

The Wolf of Wall Street is an extravaganza of corruption, greed, lust, power, cocaine, Quaalude's, nudity, directing and acting. A nonstop comedy about one man's quest for Wall Street domination and, of course, money. This film doesn't settle for weak performances or poor dialogue. Everything rolls together perfectly all the way up to the final shot.

     The Wolf of Wall Street tells the somewhat true account of Jordan Belfort's (Leonardo DiCaprio) rise and fall on Wall Street. Along for the ride are unrecognizable, gifted actors Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Cristin Miloti, and the amazing Rob Reiner.

    This epic takes three hours, but never misses a beat. Mixed with quick cut scenes and extremely ingenious dialogue, the story never slows down. A perfect fast paced movie for a fast pace life DiCaprio and team bring to the silver screen. The film is one big drug, with the first half containing the high with parties, strippers, and scene after scene of ruthlessness. The second half is the comedown with long dialogue sequences and a great looming darkness. The flow of this film fits with the manic style Scorsese's imagery portrays. The shots and pacing of the film flow with the mindset and life of Belfort and friends as they travel from a small time Long Island company to the infamous Wall Street.

     The main cast is well rounded with diverse emotions and differentiating needs. DiCaprio and Hill kill it as drug addicted, ruthless stockbrokers. DiCaprio's comedy skills are top notch, while Hill is as funny as ever. Every time these two are onscreen it's a match made in acting heaven. McConaughey gives us his second best performance of the year (right behind Dallas Buyer's Club), as a kindhearted, but barbarous stockbroker mentoring young Belfort on how to take money from clients. Margot Robbie as Belfort's wife Naomi Lapaglia is amazing and at many moments steals the show from DiCaprio. You like these characters through their hilarious shenanigans and over-the-top confidence. Belfort is a man with a narrow view, dismissive of risks and roadblocks. He's evil when he needs to be evil, and kind when he wants to be kind. 

     The story might replace drama for comedy, but when the drama hits, it hits hard. The film's choppy in editing because of the shortened three hour cut. Dialogue didn't match up in some scenes, and other scenes cut off too soon. I would kindly watch another hour of this unsettling tale. The film never gets weighed down by any moral ambiguity or social commentary. There are never too many characters or too few characters. It's interesting watching the insanely luxurious life of one man who wants too much and can't get enough. Each shot is beautiful and the cinematography is bright and grand. Scorsese directs the hell out of this film and it never falls short of genius.

   The Wolf of Wall Street brings great wit, acting, and marvelous directing to the big screen. Many people might overlook this movie due to the extreme nudity and drugs, but the directing is fabulous and you can't help but love these hateful characters. This is an entertaining, but sad tale on the blind ambitions that have created modern America. Truly, Scorsese near his all time best and a film worth watching for hours on end. 

Good Qualities: From cinematography to acting to the genuine story.
Bad Qualities: Choppy editing because Scorsese had to forcefully cut the film.

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