Title: The Wolf of Wall Street
Language: English, French
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Crime
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto
After dumping his longtime companion Robert De Niro for the hey-day Leonardo DiCaprio in the naughties, Martin Scorsese embarks on a series of ambitious enterprises to earn his overdue Oscar statuette, finally third time is a charm, THE DEPARTED (2006) achieved that goal, but poor Leo is still Oscar-less, so their fifth teamwork is THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, an excessive satire of Jordan Belfort’s autobiography, a former Wall Street stock-broker’s rise and fall from 1980s to 1990s, which grants Leo the uppermost leniency to embody this corrupted, decadent and indecent character with inordinate excess and extravaganza, unfortunately, Leo’s time has yet arrived.
Running around 180-minutes, the film is ultra-snappy and the camera faithfully acts in accordance with the doped delirium where Jordan (DiCaprio) and his cohorts habitually reside, it is an out-and-out wealth-flaunting satire, periodically overreaches its boundary with benumbing and slightly off-putting repletion since Jordan’s hollow life perpetually orbits around money, sex and drug-addled misdemeanor. Marty doesn’t trouble himself to go deeper than that, the trenchant point is, Jordan is no more than an eloquent salesman and a shallow opportunist, luck is on his side at the right time, but he fails to apply a fail-safe mechanism to get away with it, ironically, it is the American judicial system let him slide, all the more it incites audience to detest the hypocritical political body of democracy, which is inadequate in its wealth distribution and justice upholding.
Leo’s performance is voraciously full of vim and vigor, he devotes every effort to light up the screen with incredible body language and pitch-perfect accuracy with beguiling pomposity, but, an indelible impression is that with every gesture he poises, every line he delivers, simultaneously he is thinking of that damn Oscar, he even makes Jordan lovable and immensely watchable, it is his charisma, not his character’s, which may bar him from winning in the race this year.
Two-times Oscar nominee (alas!) slash red-hot comedy actor Jonah Hill, not a fan of his performance in MONEYBALL (2011), there is no big stretch for him to showcase his prowess as a serious thespian here, he is uproarious and cheeky as Donnie Azoff, Jordan’s best buddy, like in his other more coarse comedies, the only difference is this is a Marty’s film
Having said that, a preciously meaty part is when Donnie is choking and Jordan tries to save him, but we can vicariously detect in one blink Jordan thinks it might be good to let him die. This is one of Marty’s masterstrokes to reflect the complexity of human’s intuitive caprice.
New starlet Margot Robbie consummates her big screen breakthrough as Naomi Lapaglia, the second trophy wife of Jordan, she intermingles her utterly stunning sex appeal with aggressive fervor, which might bring to mind Sharon Stone in CASINO (1995). Coincidentally, Leo’s Oscar rival and eventual winner McConaughey (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB 2013) has a ten-minutes screen time as Mark Hanna, the one who remarks on the golden criterion in the Wall Street business, McConaissance is irrepressible even for such a small role. It could be Leo’s idea to curtail the role of Mark in the film in order not to lose the spotlight of his own. Also I must extol Spike Jonze’s unexpected cameo which offers some imaginable salaciousness with his tacit smirk.
Marty has already risen to a lofty echelon of a cinema maestro who can apply himself to manifold genres with top-notch dexterity, which his recent works HUGO (2011), SHUTTER ISLAND (2010) all potently bespeak. At the age of 72, the night is still young, may his outstanding creativity will never peter out, which is a tremendous blessing for all the children of cinemas.