Friday, December 27, 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort

Composer: None.  Scorsese rarely employs one and instead uses pop music of the era.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Miloti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Ethan Suplee, Edward Herrmann, Jordan Belfort, Fran Lebowitz

More info: IMDb

Plot: Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Martin Scorsese, in his 70s, still amazes me. 30-40 years after some of his best work, he's still a powerhouse of a film maker directing some of the finest films to come out of Hollywood.  Take out a few short films and TV episodes, he's directed about 45 feature films and several of them are among the finest in the past 40 years.  My favorite of his, and one of my favorite movies in general, is GOODFELLAS (1990).  In many ways WOLF gives off the GOODFELLAS vibe but that's not unwarranted since they both deal with the rise and fall of charismatic and interesting men.  DiCaprio feels like he's channeling Ray Liotta and if Liotta were 20 years younger I'd wager he'd be playing Belfort instead and giving an equally outstanding performance.

This is possibly Scorsese's funniest picture.  I'd call it a comedy sprinkled with a little drama.  He also revels in the excesses of drugs.  The scene where Belfort tries crack for the first time is so much fun, watching him go from nothing to high as happy can be, that it's almost an invitation for the audience to try it, too.  The supporting cast is terrific, too.  It was neat seeing Ethan Suplee (Randy from MY NAME IS EARL) and She Whigham (Eli from BOARDWALK EMPIRE) in small roles.  And then there's the scrummy Joanna Lumley.  Oh, the things I would do to her...still, at her age.  She's certainly aged from her days on ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS but she's still got it and she's elegant and beautiful as shit in this picture.  Jonah Hill owns his roll as Belfort's best friend and business partner, Donnie Azoff.  Hilarious performance.

The picture is right at three hours long.  Yeah, you might be feeling it in your butt by the end but the picture is loaded with laughs and nudity, something you don't expect with Scorsese.  I laughed my ass off and enjoyed the shit out of it.  I knew nothing about this going into it except having watched the trailer so I was surprised that this is based on a real guy. Neat-o.  The IMDb trivia says this has the most uses of the word "fuck" of any Scorsese picture at 506 times.  Did I mention it has lots of bewbs?!?!  That's the pig in me trying to give it that extra 'sell'.  It's also written by Scorsese's BOARDWALK EMPIRE partner, Terence Winter.  There's another BE reference when Belfort's parents are watching THE EQUALIZER that guest starred Steve Buscemi in one of his earliest roles.  This flick is very funny and it's just damn fine film making no matter how you slice it.  Go see it in the theater and enjoy yourself.  Make sure you hit the bathroom before it starts, though.

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