Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Margot Robbie, Emily Tremaine, Joanna Lumley (Rated R – 179 min).
Immediately as the final credits rolled, all I wanted to do was see this again. Brace yourself to be hypnotised by a decadent lifestyle, no performance is wasted in this switched on three hour observation of excess with absolutely no boundaries. Engaging physical comedy interwoven with high stakes drama is vivid throughout.
It may be a little early to call it movie of the year but Leonardo DiCaprio winning a recent Golden Globe was no fluke. Based on the best selling 2008 memoir of former Long Island stockbroker Jordan Belfort, his actions on Wall Street go way beyond the ‘Greed is Good’ mantra. Charismatic and self destructive, Belford got rich quick and lived a lifestyle of significance to anyone who cared, except the FBI. Flawless DiCaprio emulates Jordan as an optimistic party animal with a love of debauchery. His subsequent demise will occur eventually, while he kind of knows it, the unbelievable events in-between is what makes this Martin Scorsese film tick. With no limits comes no redemption.
Without giving away surprises, of which there are many, expect to be either curious or offended, laugh, cringe, gasp, jolt and remain astonished, there is no respite of the hysteria. I couldn’t blink. The ensemble cast are all incredible considering the ludicrous situations some of them are involved with. None more so than Jonah Hill in a certain pool party moment that I’m certainly hoping was filmed in one-take.
Belfort is the nicest possible madman, casually crashing a helicopter on his front lawn or having a marching band parade around the office are evidence of his unpredictable nature. A selective actor with an amazing body of work, Leo should have won an Oscar in 1993 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, possibly his time has come. Matthew McConaughey is amusing as possibly the only straight character throughout but even he has his weaknesses.
The epic duration does not feel like three hours at all because so much is crammed from the book lovingly extended by Scorsese for further cinematic disillusionment. Not to be missed, but you have been warned!
Shane A. Bassett