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To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a lot to say about The Wolf of Wall Street. My first three notes are as follows:

  1. Already dreading this. (I wrote this in the opening credits)
  2. Vulgar.
  3. Am I supposed to believe Leo is 22?

For the next hour and a half the only comments I had were:

  1. Loving Matthew McConaughey, especially after seeing him in Dallas Buyers
  2. Vulgar.
  3. SO vulgar!
  4. Rob Reiner is the best part of this movie.
  5. I didn’t know Leo could dance like that.

At this point, I took a break and played around with the idea of not finishing the movie and just faking my review. But I’m committed so I watched the rest and was like, “hey! I found the plot! It’s in the second half of the movie!”

The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who rises as the king of the stockbroker world only to fall back down again due to drugs, obsession, crime, and corruption.

Let’s be serious, the first half of Wolf is just indulgence and showing, on screen, the greed and excessiveness of Dicaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort. And that’s basically what the second half of the movie shows as well. Just with less grand speeches from Belfort- no, wait, there were still lots of those. But the latter half did contain more plot, conflict, and interest. So… points for that?

As far as acting goes, I don’t see the big deal. Sure, Dicaprio was charismatic but beyond that? Hmm, I got nothing. And Jonah Hill? I give him a “meh”. It was like watching his character from Super Bad all grown up and just as annoying.

To her credit, I thought Margot Robbie who played Naomi Lapaglia (Belfort’s wife) was great. She had a flawless long island accent which is impressive as she is actually from Australia. But not only that, she had to carry the emotional scenes of the movie too. She did so with strength and a kind of subtle sadness that just made you feel for her character.

Like I said, the second half is better. In fact, I might have actually enjoyed the movie if it started at the one hour and a half mark. The scene where FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler) boards Belfort’s yacht is an actual example of great acting from both Dicarprio and Chandler. But the best scene by far, and the one I am glad I actually watched the rest of the movie for, is when Belfort takes some old Lemons from 1981 and they have a delayed effect. I won’t spoil the scene but I actually “laughed out loud”. No wonder Dicaprio got the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy!

But an Oscar? Sorry pal, this is not your year.

Director and legend Martin Scorsese did a great job with the cinematography of the movie. Much like Belfort and his band of merry men, the camera makes you feel like you’re drunk and high right along side them. Shots that are out of focus, too tight, the succession of close-ups, everything adds to the ambiance of, as Rob Reiner puts it, obscenity. Also, great soundtrack.

I wish I had more to say about this movie but the truth is, I don’t. I will, however, say that The Wolf of Wall Street has successfully portrayed the greed, excessiveness, and corruption of the American business world. But if you’re already hyper aware of that and want to save three hours of your life by not watching the movie? Hey, no judgment here.

Have a great week!

-K

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