donderdag 8 oktober 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 129: The Wolf of Wall Street

Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Crime/ Drama/ Comedy
Runtime: 179 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumely, Ethan Suplee, Shea Wigham

Description: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Review: “The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on true events, about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort. He is an acrid, clever stockbroker who came from nothing to eventually own over thirty million dollars. Not long after Belfort had his first taste of Wall Street, the company he works for collapses. He is forced to search for something new and he finds this little, amateurish business. Because he is convincing and the extreme high commission, he gathers a loyal yet eccentric team and starts his own business. Belfort manages to sell worthless shares for a lot of money and his company, Stratton Oakmont grows and grows.
A film about capitalism, directed by Martin Scorsese and blessed with a strong cast. All the ingredients for a sharp film. “The Wolf of Wall Street” starts strong and sucks you in with some strong dialogues. Especially the lunch conversation between Belfort and his mentr Mark Hanna is masterfully acted. Matthew McConaughey is very intense and it’s hard to look away. Sadly for us, McConaughey is only seen for 10 minutes. Also great is the scene were Belfort meets FBI agent Patrick Denham, very subtly played by Kyle Chandler. It’s fascinating to see how the two man go from having a civilized and friendly conversation to a heated dialogue.
As the main protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a very impressive performance. Navigating between the calculated coldness, the manic urge to self-manifestation and the insatiable greed for money, drugs and alcohol all of which are typical for the character Jordan Belfort. DiCaprio really loses himself in the role. But Belfort never gets as interesting as movie archetypes like Gordon Gekko (“Wall Street”) or Daniel Plainview (“There Will Be Blood”). That’s because the character is very one dimensional and doesn’t have a lot of depth. Especially during those speeches he gives for his team, it’s hard to make that credible.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” isn’t all that original for Scorsese either. If you replace the mob for drugs, sex and greed, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a lot like “Goodfellas”. Not only is the story told by the main character in the form of a voice-over, the accent and the way he talks also sounds a lot like Henry Hill in “Goodfellas”.
In the beginning the confronting scenes, sex orgies and drug escapades are shocking. Especially because of its satire. But after a couple of those hedonistic outbursts, you’re done with it. The movie looks like it’s on repeat. With that, the movie is way too long. A movie with hardly any likeable characters, is hard to watch for me. I can only sympathize Jordan’s foulmouthed father and FBI agent Patrick Denham. And especially Belfort’s spineless, white teethed business partner Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) is one of the most annoying and terrible characters I’ve ever seen. “The Wolf of Wall Street” also constantly shifts between admiration and social criticism. “The Wolf of Wall Street” is definitely a good movie, but it gets way more credit then I think it
deserves. There were many Scorsese movies that I loved more.

Rating: 3/ 5

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