Posted by: greercn | January 21, 2014

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Charismatic and compelling Jordan Belfort is a bad, bad man. Watching three hours of his orgiastic lifestyle in the 1990s should be enormous fun.

Yet I found myself peeking at my watch seven times. This is a new record for me, while watching a Martin Scorsese film.

Martin Scorsese, were you high as a kite when you decided to film this? I can see that a drinking or drugging evening might lead you to think this would be a fascinating and cautionary tale.

But Martin, you end up glorifying terrible people. With more than 500 uses of the “f” word, enough drugs to fuel Guatemala (Belfort’s words) and women pushed into being hapless wives, hookers or (at best) wedding singers, this film sets back the progress of women and human good by many years.

And the 180-minute running time should have been trimmed by at least 30 minutes.

Yes, yet again you get female full frontal nudity but no equivalent male nudity. So, no different to most pornography in film.

Heck, this movie may actually set back any hope of evolution.

You’ve been under a rock? 2000’s “Boiler Room” told the story of Belfort and his VERY merry men, robbing from the poor to make themselves rich.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort with zeal and oomph, putting in plugs for the “newly reformed Jordan Belfort’s” motivation business. If you have actually paid for that new course, you may be just plain gullible.

The music, locations and action all match the fashion. Margot Robbie is very beautiful. Jonah Hill made all the kids laugh a lot at the Stratford East Picturehouse, but I still don’t get the point of him.

Music, Armani suits and settings are all utterly lovely and luxurious. Even the old car lot shimmers.

Matthew McConaughey, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin and Joanna Lumley all have brief and glorious moments and lift their scenes.

Have the poor victims of these crimes actually been paid back? Is Belfort still making a very good living and hanging out with people like Leo and Martin?

I have no answers, but I fear that reality TV conventions have taken over the making of feature films. This could have been an excellent and cautionary tale. Parts of it are very entertaining. But it cheapens the victims by glorifying the criminals. That makes me very uncomfortable.

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Responses

  1. Good review Greer. It’s a long movie, so it definitely does take some time to fully get into, but it’s well worth the time and effort one puts into this. Even if it is terribly crude.

  2. Thank you! Crude and mostly for boys who wish to have a future as a criminal. Nothing there for girls.


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