Based on a true story and in part on Jordan Belfort‘s memoirs, and directed by Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street follows the rise of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) from a wealthy New York stockbroker living the high life, to corporate greed and his subsequent fall involving crime, corruption, and the federal government.
The Wolf of Wall Street is entertainingly outrageous. Just like the coke he snorts and the sports cars he drives, the film has an energetic pace, buzzing from one extreme to another. Far from subtle, I tensed up in my seat every time Jonah Hill stood up to do something, not knowing how far he would go next.
Much like Scorsese’s Goodfellas there’s a long running time, this being Scorsese’s longest fictional film at 179 minutes, but this means we get to see into every little detail of Belfort’s life. It lacks some of the emotional range that many of Scorsese’s biopics have, but you wouldn’t want to feel empathy for this character, just utter shock at how unbelievable and ruthlessly courageous this man actually was. But we’ll applaud him anyway.
It’s easy to forget how well Scorsese works with comedy, as well. After seeing this and The King of Comedy for the first time in the same month as seeing this, it’s obvious that his comedies are constantly of as high of a standard as his crime dramas are.
Leading man Leonardo DiCaprio certainly looks the part and he plays his character perfectly. Having worked with Scorsese on a number of occasions already, this has to be his biggest effort. Alongside his performance in last year’s Django Unchained, as well, these massively strong performances have certainly put DiCaprio back in the picture, not that he really ever left it.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a return to old-school Scorsese directing, especially after his previous PG film Hugo, and it’s great to see him and DiCaprio back on top form. Here’s hoping for more of them both soon.