Film Review: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Based on autobiography of Jordan Belfort
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Margaret Robbie, Rob Reiner

Based on the autobiography of Jordan Belfort, it is hard to distinguish this from GOOD FELLOWS, WALL STREET and many other films about rich heels running amuck. That is not to say that’s always a bad thing. There are scenes in this film as funny as any I have seen this year, and this is one of DiCaprio’s best performances. It may be the best performance of the year. It is certainly the one with the most screen time. Way, way too long.

I was always entertained by WOLF OF WALL STREET, but I was also sickened by its excess. Excess tjat Scorcese might have been critiquing, but was also admiring in some pathetic way. Is he a fan of sociopathic chutzpah as long as some tears are shed? Scorsese tells this story well but boy he’s had practice. I swear there were repeats of earlier scenes in the same film that the director loved too much not to replay. Watching DiCaprio lead the charge with his band of merry scoundrels grew wearisome. The scenes that worked best were the familial ones, the more quiet moments of agony, the humiliation of a man who really only had one talent. And the final scene, of the agent (Kyle Chandler) who brought him down, taking the subway home, seemed too much like Scorsese was saying, “What a chump!” rather than reminding us of how civil servants are underpaid. Boy, do most of us know that! Recommended.

 

Patti Abbott