Friday, April 11, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street (Friday Film Review)

Friday, April 11, 2014 12:06 AM with 15 comments

the-wolf-of-wall-street-poster-1

The Wolf of Wall Street

Director:
Writers: (screenplay), (book)
Starring: , ,
Release Date: December 25, 2013 
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2014
Rated: R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence.

Synopsis from Amazon:

Revered filmmaker Martin Scorsese directs the story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Sex. Money. Power. Drugs. Brace yourself for an outrageous true story from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a young stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills where corruption was king and more was never enough. His rise to power earned him the title The Wolf of Wall Street. Together Scorsese and DiCaprio deliver a story of American excess.

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MY THOUGHTS:

I love Leonardo DiCaprio. I just do. And I have for many, many years, like, from back in his Growing Pains days. I loved that sitcom so much when I was a little girl and was immediately attracted to that baby-faced boy playing the homeless kid the Seavers took under their collective wings. Since then I've followed his career through What's Eating Gilbert Grape to The Basketball Diaries to Catch Me if You Can to The Departed (seriously, how freaking sexy is he in that movie? I just. For real). So I was, of course, thrilled to hear that Leo was hooking up with Scorsese once again.


The Wolf of Wall Street is a movie about excess and about how that excess can strip away your very soul. It follows Leo playing the real life character of Jordan Belfort who is chasing the American dream on Wall Street in the late 1980s. Belfort is married to a hairdresser who, since the two are in their early 20s at the beginning of the movie, are probably childhood sweethearts. Just when things seem to be happening for him at the big company he works for, disaster strikes, leaving him without a job. He eventually gets in with a shady trading company who work with penny stocks. I'm not going to lie, finance and stocks and that ilk just aren't my thing, but the film made it pretty easy to follow even if my brain stopped braining a couple of times when they started getting into the technicalities of the stockbroker world. Regardless, I understood that penny stocks were pretty shady making Leo's business that he starts and continues to grow throughout the film also pretty shady. Of course, it isn't long before the government starts looking into the business.

The cast of this film was amazing. Leo was just spectacular was the fairly despicable Belfort. I wish the academy would just give this man an Oscar already. How many times as this dude been nominated? I think people forget that he really is a good actor just because he's so easy on the eyes. Jonah Hill is also great in this film. It's fun to see the young actor really branch away from the stoner comedies that made up his early career (not that I don't still love them--Superbad cracks me up every time). He plays Belfort's right-hand man, Donnie, and is very good at being a disgusting human being. Matthew McConaughey was memorable as Belfort's would-be mentor at the first firm, and Rob Reiner was hilarious as Belfort's dad.


Speaking of hilarious, parts of this film truly are so funny. While there were some pretty serious moments, this film really is a comedy which is different for both Leo and Scorcese. I laughed out loud a few times and really did enjoy this film for the most part. That isn't to say it was without some issues, however.

My biggest complaint about this film is one I often have of Scorcese's films: the way in which women are portrayed. In this film women are just props. They are the naked creatures that Belfort and his cronies screw and discard (and there is a lot of female nudity in this film--and no male nudity). They are there so these men have something to snort their coke off of. Leo's first wife--because of course she is wife #1 (the curly-haired brunette)--seems to be a good woman during the 3 minutes of screen time that she gets, but wife #2 (the gorgeous blonde) is a golddigger whose sole purpose is to spend Belfort's money. There is, like, one woman who works as a stockbroker in the film that gets maybe 30 seconds of screen time. Nobody is portrayed very positively in this film. For the most part every single person is an asshole, so I'm not saying that I want some angelic woman to have a role, but it annoys me when women aren't even viewed as people in movies. They were literally just naked eye candy. I'm going to stop there because this rant can go on for awhile.


The other issue I have is simply just how long this movie goes on. The middle part of the film which is mostly just Belfort and Donnie doing copious amounts of pills and coke...and women. The film sags in the middle and would have benefited greatly from having at least half an hour trimmed from the final product. The story could have been told in 2 hours, easily.


Overall, I did enjoy The Wolf of Wall Street. It's a well-made, well-acted comedy that is certainly worth your time. The film is shot in an entertaining manner with Leo sometimes speaking directly to the audience, and the film really pops with bright colors and fast shots. If you are a fan of Leo and Scorcese, you'll probably enjoy this one, as well, but be prepared for a film with no redeeming characters, copious amounts of drugs and female nudity. Also, for those who find swearing offensive, don't watch this one. I believe I saw that this film breaks the record for number of times the f-word is used. It didn't bother me, and I barely even noticed it, but I tend to talk like a trucker so...

I'm going to leave with you this amazingly awesome GIF from the film: 


15 comments:

  1. Great review! I have been meaning to check this movie out…I LOVE Leo. LOVE HIM! It sounds like a fantastic movie, except….you are right. In Scorcese's movies women are always objectified and it seems like that is the case in this movie, too. I will still be checking it out though. And that GIF just made my day. Hilarious!

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    1. He's just adorable. I just adore him. I love Scorcese's work. The Departed is one of my favorites, but I just really noticed it in this one. The GIF is so awesome. I could watch it all day. Lol. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I love Leo too, and I totally loved him in Growing Pains too! And of course in Titanic…who didn't love him in that one? It's funny how long movies are these days, what are the editors doing? Maybe it's so we feel ok about spending so much money at the theater, but I prefer my movies to be under 2 hours. I'm sure I'll watch this sometime…great review! ~Pam

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    1. He's great in pretty much everything. I wasn't a fan of The Aviator and haven't seen Hoover yet, but he's just awesome. I can do longer movies sometimes, but it takes a lot to sustain interest for that long. I hope you enjoy it if you do watch it. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm sad to say this film was kind of a disappointment for me. I love Scorsese (well, mostly his older stuff) and DiCaprio, and I was so excited for this one. The first 40 minutes or so are alright and its entertaining to watch him and his gang (especially Jonah Hill) just goofing around. But then it just gets kind of repeated and I ended up waiting for moments in which I would see more of Kyle Chandler - once I finished with the film, I kind of came to the conclusion that it should have been the story of the agent rather than Jordan... Though I might be a bit biased because I have a huge crush on Kyle Chandler. :D

    Great review though, very well thought :)

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    1. The beginning was definitely the most interesting. I agree that the middle got very repetitive with the drugs and women, etc, but I did still like it overall. I never been a huge fan of Kyle Chandler. I think he is fine, or whatever, a good actor, but I never got into FNL and I think that is where most of his fan base comes from. Thanks so much. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I haven't watched this movie yet but I think I'll give it a pass. Women objectification hasn't been fun in the last few years for me, and this movie reeks of it.

    Great review, Natalie.

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    1. It really is all over. I never LIKE it, but it was just so obvious to me in this movie that at times I had a hard time looking past it. Thanks, Joy!

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  5. Yeah, I pretty much only want to see this because of the Leo. Seriously one of my favorite actors, but I don't think I'll actually like this movie. My BIL said it was closer to porn than an actual movie, but his younger brother (not my hubby...there are four brothers and one sister in that family!) said it was his new favorite movie. He's 23, so I guess that makes sense based on your review and what I've heard of this movie, lol.

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    1. When the trailer for this appeared last fall, my husband was like: You wouldn't even be interested in that Wall Street movie if Leo wasn't in it. And I was like: Yeah, well, he is. I wouldn't call this porn, but it's definitely rated R. I did enjoy this for the most part (but I have the sense of humor of a 12 year-old boy), but it wasn't without some issues. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I just watched this last night! It was freaking amazing!


    Leydy from OUAT & RCE

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  7. Oooh, someone actually just recommended this to me, and I wasn't sure whether it was something I would like. Your review is timely. I don't like when women are props either, but it sounds like it still might be worth trying at some point. Though hmmm. I guess I won't say no if someone offers to loan it to me, but I won't seek it out too hard.

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    1. I do think it is worth trying, but it is definitely not without its faults. There are some extremely funny moments and the acting is superb. I'm interested to hear what you think if you do give it a try. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. It is a good thing that for once we have quality content in a three hours movie. It is totally worth seeing it in cinemas.
    Englishtown NJ Maid Service information

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!