The Wolf of Wall street
The Wolf of Wall Street is out in Berlin theatres on January 16.
It’s tempting to succumb entirely to Scorsese’s rendition of the Quaalude-blasted based-on-a-true story of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), penny stock dealer who rose from backyard brokerage to custodian of a heliport yacht, cars, homes and extravagant entertainment habits... before it all came tumbling down.
This is Scorsese pulling all the stops of under world unction to recreate the boiler house devotion of Belfort’s team: a handpicked flotsam of guys and gals who’ll follow him anywhere but the clink, high on money, sex and drugs, beating their chests with devil-may-care f***-you-ness as they fleece whomever is stupid enough to pick up the phone and listen to them.
Possibly at his best yet in a Scorsese film, DiCaprio mesmerises as the financial Icarus with Jonah Hill as an indispensable, wisecracking sidekick. Supporting performances from Rob Reiner, Joanna Lumley et al feel natural as family. From Bo Diddley to Plastic Bertrand, the soundtrack doesn’t miss a beat, and Terence Winter’s screenplay is pure adrenaline.
Just occasionally however, emphatic changes in pace and some extended scenes overplay the rise and fall scenario: a niggle of editorial indulgence that’s just enough to detract from what would otherwise be zeitgeist psychology par excellence.
The Wolf of Wall Street | Directed by Martin Scorsese (USA 2013) with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill. Starts January 16
Originally published in issue #123, January 2014.