Steak and Chips. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Puddings. Beer and Football. Scorcese and Di Caprio. Some things just go together perfectly and produce amazing results. From Gangs Of New York to The Aviator to The Departed to Shutter Island to their latest collaboration, The Wolf Of Wall Street, their bromance shows no signs of running out of steam any time soon.
The Wolf… Is loosely based on the story of 80’s stockbroker Jordan Belfort and his subsequent rise and dramatic fall in the industry. Chronicling his start on Wall Street as a bright eyed idealist chasing the American dream and the various excesses associated with bucketfuls of money and power.
But this isn’t just a one man show. The supporting cast all play their roles to perfection. Matthew McConaughey’s stock (intentional pun) keeps going through the roof and he’s certainly done himself no harm with a brilliant, if slightly short, role as Belfort’s first superior, a man who sets Belfort well on his way to being master broker and master drug abuser in equal measures. Jonah Hill also shows that he’s more than just a comedy side kick with a major role as Belfort’s right hand man, a man like Belfort with humble origins who begins to live out his greatest fantasies whilst trading (and skimming) penny stocks.
So much has been said about Di Caprio’s lack of awards (well, the big one really…) for this role that I feel I’d be treading already well covered ground if I were to weigh in with my thoughts on a large scale. I don’t buy into the back patting, self congratulatory awards season which tries to ignore the main-stream as much as possible, but he certainly does deserve all the acclaim and recognition he’s received for his larger than life portrayal of a man consumed by greed and staggering excess. It may be ridiculously over the top but never does it feel like he’s over-doing the role or hamming it up.
I’ve found that a lot of films that centre on the banking or stock market industries dwell quite often on the assorted ins and outs of the assorted money making schemes and sometimes manage to overwhelm the audience slightly with their insistence on going deep into the intricacies of the job. In this the major points are covered with enough detail to ensure you know whats going on but doesn’t make you feel lost in a world of number crunching fetishists, a point alluded to when Belfort goes on to talk about what his next major money making scheme is. In spite of this, it never feels like it is pandering to its audience and treating them like idiots which is a highly commendable thing.
The only thing that really could’ve done with a bit of tweaking was the ending which I felt was slightly rushed considering the films 180 minute run time. Who knows, hopefully in the future we’ll get an extended directors cut edition and a longer look at the life of the man after the events.
The Wolf Of Wall Street is yet another slab of cinematic glory for Team Scorcese and Di Caprio and further proof that together they can practically do no wrong in the industry. A quite simply entertaining and brilliant character study of capitalist decadence. A lot more “Motley Crue: The Dirt” than “Wall Street 3” but is all the better for it. Even if their next collaboration is a reworking of White Chicks, I and countless other millions of movie aficionados around the globe will happily pay hard earned cash to see it.