The raunchiest cautionary tale ever put on film, The Wolf of Wall Street is brilliant! The narrative takes a page from “Goodfellas” but instead of cutting to horrific acts of violence, Wolf shows us the jaw dropping life of excess led by Jordan Belfort. This guy is a prick and the movie does nothing to show otherwise. DiCaprio is fantastic playing this despicable man who is always looking for an angle and cares only about himself. It’s shocking and at times hilarious but does not glorify the man or his lifestyle. Half of the laughs come from the shock of what you’re seeing and the way Leo justifies it in the voiceover. Jonah Hill is also excellent as his partner in crime. By the end you’ve seen how low some people can go in this life and if you’re human, you are outraged. An excellent film (that will win zero Oscars).
If Bernie Madoff was younger and more drug addled he would have been Jordan Belfort. The penny stock king was dubbed THE WOLF OF WALL STREET in a Forbes Magazine article. His schemes made him hundreds of million and also landed him in prison. But, this movie isn’t about his financial chicanery. It is about the unbridled debauchery that went along with that financial success. It is three hours of sex, drugs and parties. Midget tossing? Check. Hookers? Check. Monkeys? Yup. Even a marching band in its skivvies shows up. I’m sure I’m forgetting something because it is overwhelming. I just became numb to everything I was seeing after a while, like Belfort on quaaludes. Cars, boats, helicopters. Think of an awesome toy of the super wealthy and it is here. Martin Scorsese captures it all on film as only he can. Leonardo Di Caprio is Belfort. He is fantastic. His sales meeting speeches made me want to grab a phone and try to con a retired school teacher out of his money. He is crazed and crazy. The one thing i didn’t really get is why. Other than a 1980’s obsession with gathering wealth, I wasn’t clear on what Belfort’s motivation was. Maybe that was it, but I would have liked to have seen some more depth of his character. The real treat here is Jonah Hill. He is once again nominated for Best Supporting Actor and one of these years he will win. Hill is more than a foil for Judd Apatow style comedies. He is a damn fine actor and I really believed how absolutely insane he was as Belfort’s lieutenant Donnie Azoff. Overall, this is a pretty darn good movie, just be prepared to be overwhelmed by it all. Maybe take a ‘lude to calm you before you go. (Just kidding). — Alan Yudman