Ever since I saw the first trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street, I was looking forward to the movie. The movie, in brief, is about a charismatic and extremely motivated man, Jordan (played by DiCaprio) who plays the stock market, and deals with the life of endless money.Going into this movie, I had high hopes, but was apprehensive as to whether or not they would be fulfilled. The idea of another Scorsese hit with Leonardo DiCaprio (they had worked together for The Departed as well) seemed almost too good to be true. With an impressive cast, including Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, this movie seemed to have the potential to be an Oscar winner (for Best Picture, Best Director, and maybe even an Oscar for Leo finally). I can say that The Wolf of Wall Street met a lot of my expectations and really drew me in.
Before I get into the review I need to issue a quick warning. This movie has an incredibly large amount of nudity, sex, drug and alcholism, and anything else you can think of. This is by no means fun for the whole family. Do not see this on Christmas Day with your parents and young siblings.
While The Wolf of Wall Street had its ups and downs, overall I personally believe that this is a brilliant movie. The direction is incredible throughout the whole movie. Scorsese has such a uniquely genius way of bringing his ideas to the screen, and this is no exception. However, this movie did not feel as much like a Scorsese movie as other movies did. It had a slight Goodfellas feel but it was different. Where a lot of his movies are more minimalist, smart, and slow-paced, The Wolf of Wall Street seemed to cater to a much bigger audience, and there was always something happening in the movie that kept the viewers’ attention.
Where The Wolf of Wall Street really excelled though is in its acting. Leonardo DiCaprio was absolutely brilliant in this movie. I suppose that if you don’t like his acting style, you might not agree with me, but anyone who thinks he’s a good actor in general will totally agree with me. Just like in The Departed, Scorsese has delved deep into DiCaprio’s character, and has given Leo a chance to prove yet again that he is worthy of an Oscar. DiCaprio plays this role with a certain rawness that is extremely powerful, and really brings out Leo’s huge presence on screen.
Something that really surprised me about this movie was Jonah Hill’s acting. In this movie, he shows how he really is worthy of roles in movies besides Superbad, This is the End, and Get Him to the Greek. He really does a fantastic job in this movie, and his acting deserves some sort of award related recognition for it (maybe not Oscar, seeing as how there have been some fantastic performances this year for supporting actors, and I haven’t even seen American Hustle yet).
However, there were a couple faults this with this movie. At times, it felt a bit bloated, and scenes in this movie tended to repeat itself. Scenes such as orgies, drug taking, and other sexual things kept on coming up, to the point of exhaustion. I am aware that this was on purpose though. By the middle of the movie, I was honestly disgusted by the sex scenes (not by the content, but by the fact that Leo’s character kept on making these bad decisions). So that is not necessarily a fault in the movie, because it was intentional, but it was still something that made me feel bad. Also, with a running time of 3 hours, this was a very long movie (some might say too long).
A major focus of this movie is its moral aspect. This movie mainly shows the audience about the effects money can have, as well as the downsides of living in greed and pride. Jordan’s lust for more money puts him in some truly awful scenarios. What makes the moral dilemmas so personal to the audience is that the emotions behind them are so easy to relate to. By the end of the movie, the moral message is very clear. Although overall, Scorsese shows the message well, at times it felt a bit like he was beating the audience over the head with it.
Overall, I would say that The Wolf of Wall Street is a really amazing movie. It showcases the incredible talent of all those involved in the making of it, whether that be the actors, the director, the cinematographers, etc. Although the movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is a great movie that will leave you feeling a little sick because of the many awful scenarios and images that the movie depicts. This is a must see for and Scorsese fans, DiCaprio fans, Jonah Hill fans, or for pretty much anyone who doesn’t mind seeing a movie with a lot of drugs and sex (again, there’s a lot of both). I highly recommend this movie.