Stefan's Review of The Wolf of Wall Street

  • 6 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
    The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

    There will always be Scorsese - to paraphrase what Brian De Palma once told Quentin Tarantino. That is this year's case with The Wolf Of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese's first mainstream film entirely devoted to comedy and satire. This is perhaps his most unconventional and most energetic film. After a long run of fantastic, but Oscar-based formula films since Casino, Scorsese gets back to his old and much better director's chair. Wolf without a doubt outranks anything I've considered as the funniest film of the year. Adapting the autobiographical novel by Jordan Belfort which recounts his rise and fall as a corrupt stock broker, screenwriter Terence Winter adds flavor and depth to the film. Additionally, Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays the infamous broker, completes his corrupt american dream trilogy after Django Unchained and the Great Gatsby. All three top my favorite films of their respective years proving that DiCaprio chooses the best films in the entire industry, and all three showcase DiCaprio's talent and range; this has been hidden from the public for a very long time. The most outright shocking part of the film is the R-rating, because any other film with this much sex would have an NC-17 rating. Maybe only Nymphomaniac will top the nudity shown in this film, but The Wolf Of Wall Street shows more than most European avant-garde films. So what exactly makes The Wolf of Wall Street one of the best films Martin Scorsese has ever made?

    Cutting hours of footage down to a measly three, Thelma Shoonmaker shows us once again that she is the best editor in the industry. The energy you see in this film can mostly be attributed to her fast pace, quick cuts, and execution of camera tricks. In one scene we only see one side of Belfort's car and he explains that he drove safely home. A couple of minutes pass and lone behold, the other side of the car looks like it was rammed by a truck. The timing she used in that scenes reveals that she has a knack for editing comedy. The key to comedy is timing and she knows how to do it. Also, she can be applauded for editing Scorsese's first digital film as he ends his battle to maintain film camera's in the industry.

    When I watch Jordan Belfort's story come to life, I cannot simply believe that Scorsese directed it. The casting is modern and the actors are unlike anything that a 70 year-old director would work with. He selects perfect musics to create yet another period piece soundtrack with catchy tunes and retro-style music. Although I do not know why film camera's are so highly regarded or why they're being persecuted, Scorsese unleashes long-awaited cool camera movements adding some visual flair to the film.

    Fairly new screenwriter, Terence Winter, known for his work on Boardwalk Empire, creates hands-down the best adapted screenplay of the year with a lot of messages and quotable dialogue to rival the Goodfellas. He helps Scorsese create another quotable film with tons of memorable scenes. Winter covers the perversity of greed and corruption especially in Wall Street. He also creates well rounded characters such as Naomi Lapaglia, Belfort's wife, played by the beautiful Margot Robbie. She could have been the usual objectified female, but turns into a human character with positive aspects and negative ones thanks to Winter's writing. After a handful of dreadful biopics, Winter writes one of the most original ones in years next to Lincoln. On top of all of this, he adds a peculiar message of "if you can't beat'em, join'em" to capitalism.

    The cast is one of the year's best, but does not have enough interesting female roles to outrank Nebraska for me. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers his best performance with fresh gestures, quirky dancing, and a charming, conniving smile. Jonah Hill delivers his best performance as well as Jordan's best friend who allows for his self destruction. Hill can be very good at picking up the subtleties of a character. Matthew McConaughey only delivers a cameo, but it is the best cameo of the year. He is so suave and brilliant! Kyle Chandler plays the villain with a timid albeit effective portrayal. Jean Dujardin makes another fantastic cameo as does Rob Reiner adding to the comedy of the film. The cast is like attending a wedding with your favorite actors.

    Not to be corny, but the Wolf of Wall Street is like a roller-coaster ride: during the film you have fun but are a bit put off, and when you leave, you want to re-do it all over again. A wild spectacle with profoundness matching entertainment, Wolf of Wall Street is one of the year's best films if not the best.

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