As one of the distinguished nominees for best picture at the Academy Awards, “The Wolf of Wall Street” has caught the attention of many film goers in recent months. Thankfully, the movie turned out to be one of the best of 2013 and a delight to experience.
The film follows the true story of Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, a stockbroker in the late 1980s. After the Black Monday stock market crash, Belfort finds himself out of a job until his wife recommends he gets a job selling penny stocks. With an aggressive approach and a silver tongue, Belfort accumulates a small fortune until he decides to open up his own stock firm with his friend, Donnie Azoff, played by Jonah Hill, called Stratton Oakmont. From there, the movie follows the rise and fall of Belfort as he lives the high life with more money than he knows what to do with, while the federal government tries to put him in jail for up to twenty years.
The story of the movie is sensational, constantly keeping every audience member on the edge of their seat through a combination of suspense and humor. Director Martin Scorsese always makes sure to keep the plot interesting with intricate analysis of the value of money, the corruption of Wall Street and the manipulation of selling products. It’s the type of movie that should be watched multiple times due to the amount of subtle details found throughout the movie. While the movie has a great story, it could have been terrible in the hands of lesser actors. Fortunately, the cast of the movie is tremendous.
Leonardo Dicaprio’s performance as Belfort perfectly displays the intricacies of the character. He displays the emotional and psychological descent of a man who cheated his way to the top beautifully. His performance has been nominated for an Oscar, and he deserves the award more than any other actor. Fellow Oscar nominee Jonah Hill also does an excellent job, showing the uncontrollable, self-destructive side of the rich life effortlessly. Even the actors with little screen time, such as Margot Robbie, who plays Naomi Lapaglia, and Matthew McConaughey, who plays Mark Hanna, do a great job, contributing to the film’s drama as well as the surprising amounts of comedy in the film.
Despite being marketed as a drama, the film offers dozens of laughs throughout the experience thanks to its fast pace and clever writing. While not every joke is a home run, there isn’t any humor in the film that produces a groan from the audience, and the humor compliments the drama fantastically. It’s too bad though that the profanity of the film tries to distract from this.
There is nothing wrong with showing naked people on screen and there is nothing wrong with using profanity constantly. However, there comes a point where it is used so often that it becomes distracting more than anything else. It isn’t a big issue, but it almost feels as if the movie is trying to appeal to the teenage boy crowd by sounding “cool” and “hip” by cursing and showing a lot of naked women.
With that being the case, the movie is still phenomenal and deserves every award and every accolade it has been receiving. “The Wolf of Wall Street” earns a 9.5/10.