Film Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is Hollywood cinema at its finest. Scorsese’s adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s memoirs is magnificent.

A young Jordan Belfort is keen to establish a career on Wall Street in the 1980s. He becomes wildly successful, even with his unorthodox ways and lifestyle. His financial achievements come at a cost however…

The Wolf of Wall Street is a thoroughly entertaining black comedy that engages throughout its three hour duration. Martin Scorsese illustrated his flair for the darkly comic with 1982’s The King of Comedy, and his latest has some parallels with it.

The Wolf of Wall Street is raucous, outrageous and always compelling. The incidents that occur in the film are often wild, such is the nature of the story. Yet this is part of the reason that the film is so great; the sense of disbelief often generates humour. Scorsese’s film is often laugh out loud funny.

The narration and voiceover works well in The Wolf of Wall Street, thanks to its protagonist. Scorsese and screenwriter Terence Winter do not present Belfort’s activities in a positive or negative light. They simply present the story in an engaging manner. Despite the humour, there is no endorsement of criminal or immoral action. The audience are left to form their own opinion; The Wolf of Wall Street is thankfully free of moralising.

Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a tour de force performance. DiCaprio is electric as Belfort; his performance is more than worthy of the praise and nominations he has hitherto received. Jonah Hill provides great support as Donnie, and is responsible for a good portion of the humour.

Scorsese’s direction is as impeccable as ever, ably assisted by editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The soundtrack is also strong. The Wolf of Wall Street is marvellously rambunctious film. Highly recommended.