The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Leonardo DiCaprio; Jonah Hill, Mathew McConaughy, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin - 5 Stars
"There's a sucker born every minute"
credited to P. T. Barnum (1810-1891)
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 3 hour affair that is hands down magnetic, hilarious, disgusting, and breathtaking all at once with an off the charts acting feat from Leonardo Decaprio (Best Actor in a Comedy - Golden Globe Award) as (Jordan Belfort). This Scoreses film is the 5th collaboration between Decaprio and Scoreses. The Wolf of Wall Street is by far the best film to date from this clever duo. Based upon the true story of Jordan Belfort, a fresh face young 22 year old stockbroker on Wall Street, loses his job in the 1987 market crash and ends up in a boiler room selling worthless penny stocks hand over fist in the 1990's with a crew of misfits. These misfits are recruited, along with his right hand man Jonah Hill (Donny Azoff) to create a fake company named Stratton Oakmont selling penny stocks and duping the clients. Belfort teaches the cast of characters the art of selling. Belfort becomes extraordinarily wealthy, making millions and millions of dollars, a completely crooked stock fraud zillionaire living the high life amongst a bed of drugs, hookers and blow along with his cronies.
Of course, Belfort is married not once but twice in the film though hookers are everywhere. The film is laden with graphic nudity, sadistic sex and revolting drug scenes. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart but then Gangs of New York (2002), Goodfellas (1990), The Departed (2006), also had a fair share of perverse violence, blood, gore and vile language.
Kyle Chandler, FBI Agent Patrick Denham, is after Belfort throughout the film. Belfort ends up in prison for only 4 years, playing tennis everyday, his cellmate is Tommy Chong from Cheech and Chong and today lives in California promoting his selling techniques. Perhaps the most poignant scene is at the end of the film. Scorsese nails it by depicting the life of Denham versus Belfort's after all is said and done. The scene creates a sense of conflicting emotions. Yes, Belfort is a crook but his people loved him and the misfits profited by him - wrongly. Yes, he was a thief but he continues on living a similar now legal and profitable life versus his previous life and though now drug free for the last sixteen years whereas Denham's life remains the same. Yes, many in our society pine for the mega millions thinking life would be all that grand. Yes, man continues to struggle between the dark and the light, good versus bad, right versus wrong and in the end which path does man follow? Ah...the human condition.... Scorsese finest achievement for highlighting the perverseness of corrupt behavior around the all mighty dollar but not condoning it after all this is just a movie where one man fell down the rat hole and became a rat.
One thing is for sure - this was DiCaprio's moment! The movie is one to be seen over and over again. Yes, it is that mind glowingly fantastic.
Directed By: Martin Scorsese