Whatever you think this is, whatever notion you have formed right now about the kind of movie The Wolf of Wall Street is, forget it, just put it aside, because Scorsese‘s latest picture goes beyond all expectations. At least this is what I should’ve told myself, because it certainly exceeded mine – in fact, it completely crushed them, easily becoming the most surprising film of the year.
It is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a Wall Street stockbroker that after being fired on 1987’s Black Monday decided to start his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Nothing extraordinary here, except he didn’t just successfully (by resorting to crimes, granted) run that firm, he ran it like king, rewarding the work of his employees with never-ending wild parties, fuelled by alcohol, drugs and sex, and most of all, A LOT of money. In the words of Jay-Z (he’s a great artist), nothing exceeds like excessive, and Wolf takes excess to a whole new level. It’s not the amount of money or the luxuries he could afford, it’s how he spent that money, how he threw it away — literally, in the trash, off a boat – and all the insanely over the top shocking things he did with it.
Portraying this extravagant figure is actor Leonardo DiCaprio, in a performance that… honestly, fills me with great joy, just for how good it is. He does everything we already knew he could do: a bit drama, a bit of rage, with a hint of cockiness and goofiness. And then he smacks us in the face for never really conceiving that he could be great at not only comedy (and I mean truly great), but specifically at physical comedy, which was the biggest and most delightful surprise. The Lemmon Quaaludes sequence is just… whatever tops perfection.
It’s a vertiginous rise to the top, to heights most of us have never even conceived, let alone aspire to achieve. And thus we’re more than excited to be taken for a ride; for a creative, outrageous, and unapologetic ride. It’s three hours long, and you’ll be laughing every minute of it. But hilarious doesn’t cut it. I wasn’t just laughing, I was nearly hysterical. In fact, by the end of it, I had a massive headache and my cheeks actually hurt – that’s how funny this movie is.
For the physical pain I can thank the writer, Terence Winter, for the incredible, borderline perfect dialogues he wrote; I can thank the actors, not just DiCaprio, McConaughey and Jonah Hill, but every single one of them, for letting loose without losing themselves, which is indisputable proof of great talent; I can also thank Martin Scorsese for one hell of a job in direction – the characters may be completely out of control, but the movie never is, not for a second; and ultimately, I can thank Jordan Belfort himself, for making life stranger than fiction.
There is more I could say, much more, namely about the more serious aspects of it, but I’m running out of words and definitely do not feel like being rational right now. You can listen to me and my fellow chicks discuss and gush over The Wolf of Wall Street on Wednesday, when the next episode of our Across The Universe Podcast comes out.