They may be incredibly sleazy, doing copius amount of drugs and sleeping around on their wives, but there is something so entertaining about watching the stockbrockers in Martin Scorcese's newest film, The Wolf of Wall Street. The movie is based on actual events that happened to Jordan Belfort, a once-decent man who let greed and power go to his head.
Leonardo DiCaprio once again proves that he is one of the greats through his depiction of Belfort. It is nearly mesmerizing to watch such a honest young husband turn into such a degenerate. He is a scumbag that you are not rooting for, but still cannot take your eyes off of. DiCaprio still will not take home the Oscar this year, but he truly gives an outstanding performance. Jonah Hill also will surprise you with how great he is. The comedic young actor finds the perfect balance between his goofy antics and a serious portrayal of a con artist. In fact, everyone gives a solid performance in the movie. One of the best is from Margot Robbie, who plays Jordan's wife Naomi. At the beginning there is not much to her character, but as the story unfolds and her character develops, she blooms into something great.
A Scorcese movie is so powerful because of the direction. There are so many absolutely crazy scenes that you cannot help but love because of the way the event is shown to you. A great example of this is a scene where Belfort and his right-hand man Donnie (Hill) take pills called Lemons to celebrate one of their many deals. The POV flips a few times from the audience just watching to Belfort breaking the fourth wall and explaining what was really going on, but the change feels so natural that it is not a nusiance. Unfortunately, there are a few weird moments with direction/writing. There is one scene where DiCaprio and Jean Dujardin have an entire conversation by staring at each other, letting voice overs talk back and forth as if they can read each others minds. There are also several places in the script where Belfort's narration tells what happens in the future to a character. These are obviously important to what really happened, but they seem weird and out of place -- especially one where he describes more detail of something you see happen in the background of one of scenes on his boat. They take away from the flow of the movie.
The soundtrack to the film is really excellent. While you will not hear Kanye West's "Blck Skinheads" like in the trailer, you will hear an assortment of wel-placed music that really adds something to the scenes. Each track feels carefully selected to boost the feel of whatever is going on.
Although there are a handful of odd writing choices in the script, The Wolf of Wall Stret is an excellent film that you should definitely make sure to see. The casting is great and the direction is wonderful. Scorcese and the rest of the cast and crew bring a wild story to life in a way that you will not soon be forgetting.