The Wolf of Wall Street

Monday, 13 January 2014


With awards season well upon us, so comes the time of too many good films to watch and not enough time.
January is a cold, crappy month generally anyway so I enjoy cinema date nights and trips so see films with friends over getting my legs out to go raving.
Much of the talk of swooping the awards board has been for 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and American Hustle. Now American Hustle was a quirky, funny piece set in the 70's with comedy wigs and amazing fashion as well as complex and damaged characters, brilliantly pulled off by Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams; nominations are well deserved.Gravity I felt was overrated if I'm honest, I wasn't as gripped by the story as I had expected to be given the hype.
12 Years A Slave may be one of the most important films of recent years. I was so touched and disturbed by that film, and the talents of Chiwetel Ejiofor. Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o and director Steve McQueen, that I can't even find the words to do it justice let alone review.

But Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street is turning out to be that little sneaky one and Leonardo di Caprio won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, because frankly, his performance as 'the Wolf' is AMAZING.

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who's stock brokerage made millions in the Nineties, and not very scrupulously either, his main talent was gas. This man could gas people up! He could sell dreams to people, which made him a great broker, a great business owner and a great philanderer. The penetrating charisma and haphazard, drug fuelled mania of Belfort could only be pulled off by di Caprio as far as I'm concerned.
The film charts Belfort's rise and documents the ridiculously debauched life he and his friends and colleagues led; mansions, helicopters, Coco Chanel's old yacht that he sank in the Med...he did a lot. It's a wonder they survived the amount of drugs and prostitutes they all used to be honest (we're talking hookers at work, doing lines off breasts and a bizarre midget throwing contests in the office here). Full on depravity, that typically of Hollywood does look bloody fun.
Eventually, the FBI's investigation was able to get enough to bring him down and Belfort was involved in an elaborate undercover investigation as a mole in exchange for a much reduced sentence. He's lost the millions, the mansion and the model wife, but he's still making a hell of a lot as one of those inspirational business seminar guys (to be fair he's got fuckloads of money to still pay back so you can't blame him for the high fees) and has made money from his auto-biographies, which have resulted in the film.

There are lots of really pivotal smaller characters in the film such as his dad 'Mad Max' Belfort (Rob Reiner) and Aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley) but the two supporting actors who really make this film are his second wife Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and the guy who said he would work for him after meeting in a diner, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill).
Di Caprio and Hill look like they could genuinely be friends, the hysterical antics the two immoral stockbrokers got up to looks so seamless. There are some brilliant slow motion scenes of the pair high as fuck and a hilarious although terrifying scene after they take some old Quaaludes and are rendered practically paralysed.

The relationship between di Caprio and Margot Robbie who plays his bombshell wife Naomi also sizzles with the kind of torment and passion I imagine copious amounts of money, cocaine and infidelity bring. The chemistry between the pair was a good match and I LOVED her Italian New Yorker accent. 

 The film is over the top with the recklessly luxe lifestyle and I loved the narrating style of Belfort's character throughout the film, sometimes off screen and sometimes with di Caprio looking directly into camera, charming the audience just as he did everyone else.
I can't wait to see how the Wolf of Wall Street performs at the Oscars. I think it might just be the surprise contender.

Shanika Says: go watch! The Wolf of Wall Street is in cinemas now.

*All images sourced from Google

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