Based on the movie’s protagonist Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, this is the latest Scorsese / Di Caprio collaboration (there have been 4 others) and has been nominated for a slew of Oscars this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Not too shabby but this IS Scorsese after all.
Is it 1987 and Jordan Belfort is a driven and ambitious young man. Declaring that he ‘always wanted to be a stockbroker’ and after no luck working for others, he and his new BFF Donnie Azoff (Hill) decide to start-up their own firm. Belfort is a born talker and could, as they say, sell ice to Eskimos. All it takes is some balls, a dubious press article (yes I know but this is the decade of greed, boys and girls) and his fellow scumbags and beating down his door to work with him.
Within an obscenely short period of time Belfort, Azoff and their cronies are living the most decadent of lifestyles. There are parties, drugs, prostitutes, drugs, orgies, women, more women and even more drugs. At one such party, Belfort meets Naomi (Aussie up and comer Robbie) and falls into immediate lust. He leaves his wife and the pair eventually marry. A daughter Skylar quickly follows. It would seem Belfort was only momentarily faithful to his new, young wife…..if he ever was at all.
The success of his small firm, which is basically built on scams, draws the attention of the FBI and Agent Patrick Denham (Chandler) is paying close attention to their business dealings. Belfort’s attempt to bribe the FBI Agent all but ensures the failure of his business. But he remains lucky and avoids prosecution….for now. I won’t tell you how it all ends….. I hate spoilers.
The best thing about this movie is that it does not take itself too seriously. It is wicked funny and smugly irreverent. With a POV narration from Di Caprio, we have some hilarious insights into the man and his thoughts. Belfort’s first night with Naomi comes complete…… no pun intended …. with a narration that will have you laughing. Some of his drug fuelled thoughts are just as funny. For his part, Di Caprio does an amazingly fantastic job bringing Belfort to life and deserves each and every nomination he has received for this role. He is over the top and insanely dramatic. Absolute perfection. It really is a shame he is up against the seemingly unstoppable McConaughey this year.
Hill gives just as worthy a performance as the trusty and oh so slimy best friend and business partner. However, it is Robbie who captivates. She never quite steals it from Di Caprio but she comes very , very close. I knew she was an Aussie but other than that, I had no idea who she was as I haven’t watched neighbours since Charlene went off to be a singer. She gives some serious swagger to the street smart Naomi who I am never quite sure is sly or just along for the ride. But that is part of her charm.
This movie is hilarious in parts with a touch of drama to keep it from becoming a complete farce. It is a tightly written screenplay that drags us all along for this drug fuelled adventure of a lifetime. At a staggering 3 hours long, it should have been cut down to at least 2 1/2. There was a part about ohhhhh 2 hours in when almost everyone in the cinema got restless and/or popped out to the loo. Edit Marty. Edit.
I promised myself I wouldn’t delve into a feminist rant about the total lack of strong female characters. Every woman was a wife, girlfriend or hooker. I also wont rant about the abundance of female nudity ……and just a single glimpse of penis. And what about those they scammed? The poor hardworking chumps who lost all their money so this lot could party, do drugs and screw themselves around the world.
But having said that….. I really liked this movie. I just let it wash over me and I liked it. A lot. It’s not for the faint hearted. It currently holds the dubious distinction of being the movie with the word ‘fuck’ said the most times in the history of cinema. Ummmmmm yay I guess 😛
It you can leave all your values and morals at the door, you will enjoy this as much as me.
Love Flick xx
Director : Martin Scorsese
Starring : Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Joanna Lumley, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, Jean Dujardin.
Running Time : 180 minutes
Release Date : 23 January, 2014