Monday, January 6, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

Movie Name: The Wolf of Wall Street
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti, Shea Whigham, Christine Ebersole, P.J. Byrne, Ethan Suplee, Henry Zebrowski, Jake Hoffman, Stephanie Kurtzuba
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Biography
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

Following the beautiful "Hugo", Martin Scorsese is back, with a dark comedy detailing the greedy and moral corruption of stockbrokers on Wall Street in the late 1980s. The film follows the true story of Jordan Belfort, a young ambitious stockbroker who at 22 is launched into the high finance world in Wall Street. After the collapse of the market, Jordan loses his job, and decides to start his own firm, with some less than reputable tactics he gained knowledge of. Alongside him is his friend Donnie Azoff, and they both soon start expanding their operations and the number of people working for them. In parallel with the business growth, the lavish parties, drug usage and general insanity keeps escalating, until the FBI starts investigating their practices.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is one of the more visceral and funny comedies that is part of Martin Scorsese's body of work. The film does not try to endorse the corruption of morals nor the criminal behaviors on display - it functions more like a snapshot of a certain time in a specific segment of society. In a way, this film is a portrait of the 80s in the vein of Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities", but in a more excessive way, for all the extreme behaviors that it displays. The egocentric, hedonistic behaviors of the characters, mixed with this sense of urgency and simultaneously of being unpunished, creates in this microcosms of relationships, a distorted sense of reality. The film succeeds in creating a bubble of luxury and corruption, that slowly destroys everything it touches. The acting is uniformly fantastic, but the show belongs to Leonardo DiCaprio, who is sensational in every single frame. The cinematography from Rodrigo Prieto is beautiful, as is the eclectic soundtrack. A fantastic film worth watching!