With The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese has crafted a three-hour long epic comedy of bad taste about a world-class, rotten to the core douchebag. Jordan Belfort was a money laundering asshole to the extreme who played fast and loose with people’s money on Wall Street, scammed the poor and the rich alike for his own gain and the gain of his amoral idiot friends, consumed drugs and women and every material thing, got caught, went to jail, wrote a book about it, and now his glorious suck-fest of an idolatrous life is a top drawer film from cinema’s greatest living master.
The Wolf of Wall Street is about excess, excess in crime, excess in life, excess in filmmaking, excess in acting. Teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio for the umpteenth time, Scorsese lets the Oscar deprived thespian of this generation loose in ways I never imagined and has him doing things I never cared to see. The pair take their “relationship” so far over the course of the film’s monstrous runtime that I don’t know if they could ever top what they do here without it becoming illegal.
The film, scripted by Terrence Winter from Belfort’s memoir, contains some howlingly funny scenes and bouts of dialogue, including one where Belfort and his pals discuss seriously the potential legal ramifications of midget tossing at work (which ends in a great little homage to Tod Browning’s Freaks – oddly fitting) and another involving a ridiculously dramatic rescue at sea from a sinking yacht done to the tune of Umberto Tozzi’s “Gloria” complete with Italian jokes. Rob Reiner also gets some great riotous moments as Belfort’s hot-tempered accountant father.
Scorsese, that old sentimentalist, of course, in recrementitous fashion pays homage to himself. Continue reading