DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
NOT A PART OF OUR COLLECTION
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? YES
I’ve waited too long to watch this and I should have known better. The Oscar nominated “True Story” of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), a stock broker who’s first day was apparently Black Monday in October 1987, was the latest biopic by Martin Scorsese, as well as the fifth collaboration with DiCaprio, who has defiantly aged well.
In Scorsese’s typically dark comedic style, which has made his work so distinctive, with Goodfellas (1990) springing straight to mind, The Wolf Of Wall Street follows the rise, fall and presumably the re-rise of Belfort, the crooked stockbroker who after loosing his job a month after Black Monday, quickly finds himself running his own film, one which he has built up from scratch.
His obscene motivational methods, create a jungle brokerage, with the his brokers indulging the basest acts on a daily basis, in order to keep them driven. “Greed is good” according to the fictional Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (1987), but here greed is not enough. The obscene, sex, drugs and abusive relationships between the colleagues are nurtured by Belfort and are unbelievable, though apparently true.
But Scorsese manages to make this orgy of power, money, drugs and of course, constant sex with anything and everything that moves, palatable and comedic. But funny though it may be, as with Goodfellas, he never manages to lose sight of the depravity of their actions, nor glorifies them. He allows Belfort and his cohorts to do that, whilst we simply observe but with a playground mentality, he allows us to snigger from back row at their antics, from our ivory towers, enjoying their behaviour which is so extreme, that most of us wouldn’t even want to take part in it.
It’s like car crash TV, you simply can not look away.
As usual, Scorsese encourages the best performances out of his cast, with DiCaprio bursting out the screen with an energy that must prove once and for all, to all his detractors that he has come along way from those “baby-faced” years and is one of the most talented American actors working today. But I do believe that this is a very clear collaboration, with great writing, cinematography, editing, as well as the aforementioned acting and expert direction.
At almost three hours it does take its time, it does feel very much like Goodfellas for the next generation but in spite of those things, it is a fantastic film, a great watch and proof yet again, that biopics needn’t to be poe-faced or boring.