The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - 4 stars out of 10
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a tough sell. While Jordan Belfort’s story is interesting (especially seeing him transform from a wide-eyed, innocent business man to a corrupt Wall Street broker so quickly), the content is so offensive that it is difficult to even admit that you tolerated it without looking like a heathen. The amount of nudity, explicit sexual content, and the record-setting usage of the f-word is so far over the top that this movie must be watched instead of enjoyed. I know that Martin Scorsese is often an extremist but it was probably a mistake to grant his wish of “no content restrictions” to attract him to the film. He has raised the bar to a new level (in a bad way) with this film. If this film wins for Best Adapted Screenplay, there is something wrong with the system. The story could have been effectively told without this shocking amount of filth. Even if they would have used 180 f-words (averaging 1 per minute) instead of its 500+, they could have gotten their point across. This should perhaps raise the question of what is required for a film to be NC-17. This content is not suitable for any audience member, let alone those under the age of 17. That being said, Leonardo DiCaprio is incredible once again. I wouldn’t put this in his top 5, but it is hard to comprehend that several of his scenes were filmed without the influence of drugs. He acts without abandon, creating precise moments of insanity that cannot be explained aside from calling him one of the greatest actors of this generation. While I did not enjoy watching his most extreme drug scene (which is bound to become infamous), it was truly impressive. On the other hand, I do not understand Jonah Hill’s Oscar nomination. At all. His acting in “Moneyball” was absolutely worthy of this recognition, but receiving a nomination for a goofball role like this just cheapens his other nomination. He reminded me of a young Adam Sandler, and you don’t see Sandler receiving nominations for anything outside of the Razzies. If you haven’t caught on, I completely disagree with this nomination. It was nice to see Jean Dujardin in another American movie, but none of the acting was particularly memorable. Probably the most notable part of this film is its beautiful visuals. I would’ve much rather have seen it nominated for production design or cinematography than picture, directing, and screenplay. This film had a lot of hype, but it is all because of its controversial content. Even though Leo’s performance is inspired, I can’t recommend this movie in good conscience, nor could I ever watch it again.