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The Wolf Of Wall Street Review


Director: Martin Scorsese.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Jon Bernthal, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley.

Running Time: 180 minutes.

Certificate: 18.

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

It is Oscar season and that means the heavy dramas are coming out to try and win the hearts of the voters. However, there is still room for the more anarchic, anti-Academy films that are often clearly good enough to be a contender. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is definitely a contender.

Directed by Martin Scorsese on absolute top form, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET delivers in pretty much every way possible. Marty has not had as much fun with a film since he finally took the award home for THE DEPARTED, and while the field this year looks pretty packed in the top category, you shouldn’t rule the film or Scorsese himself out as a dark horse in the race.

The film is centered around Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort and his journey from wide-eyed aspiring stockbroker to a greedy addict embezzler. It takes something special to carry a film this big and flashy with your character pretty much at the centre of everything for three straight hours, but boy does he deliver. DiCaprio turns it up to eleven in an absolutely manic, balls to the wall performance as he portrays a man addicted to pretty much everything, whether it is sex, drugs, money or power. It is undoubtedly one of his finest performances in an already stellar career, and something quite different from what we are used to from him. One scene in which he is panicking while high on especially strong Quaaludes is a particular highlight and a brilliant example of just how committed to the role he really is.

The casting is spot on with Jonah Hill delivering creepy in spades as the abrasive, cousin marrying Donnie. Everything about him reeks of perversion and you desperately want someone to punch him in his fluorescent teeth. Aussie actress Margot Robbie could be easily dismissed by a lot of people as simply another insignificant hot girl willing to take her clothes off for a role in a Scorsese film, and while there is no denying that she is definitely smoking hot, she really delivers when she has to as Jordan Belfort’s actions become more and more erratic. On top of these, there are also solid turns in smaller roles from a stream of classy actors such as Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin and Rob Reiner, who is perfectly cast as Belfort’s angry but caring dad.

But this is no perfect film. Running at exactly three hours, the film does unfortunately hit a few lulls especially towards the end, and could probably have justified fifteen to twenty minutes off its runtime. But to the film’s credit, despite these lulls, it is never boring and doesn’t stop engaging you and bringing you back in through whichever completely bonkers antics Jordan and his cronies are up to. In the end one might feel completely exhausted from the relentlessness of the superficial lifestyle portrayed throughout the film, which to its credit is never glamourised nor demonised. As Scorsese has chosen to simply say, “it is what it is.”

Delivered with plenty of style, pace and breaking of the fourth wall, this could be the perfect antidote for the more dramatic Oscar hopefuls. But make no mistake, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET will definitely be a contender. Whether it will be considered too brash to win remains to be seen. While it is technically not perfect, it is still bloody brilliant and will definitely be right up there as one of the best releases of 2014.

[usr=5] THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is released in UK cinemas on Friday 17th January.

Esben Evans is the Danish contingent on this site. He enjoys films, swearing a lot, and a nice pair of slacks.

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