The World According to Renee

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Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort is young and rich. He’s doing what every young, rich guy does: Screw a lot of hookers and take a lot of drugs. 

This film is based on the bestselling memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, about Belfort’s time as a stockbroker. He did some not-so-legal things and made a ton of money from it, leading to a lavish life of debauchery.

While watching this film, all I could think of was this must be how Jay Gatsby would live had he been alive today. Jordan Belfort is a modern day Gatsby- throwing lavish parties and living the American Dream. Like Gatsby, Belfort’s world did crash around him but hey, that’s what you get when you’re doing illegal stuff. 

Leonardo DiCaprio is a fine actor, but I’m not really sure he pulls off playing an arrogant stockbroker. Anyone who has read the book will know that Belfort is not a likable character; he’s selfish, arrogant, and loves nothing more to laud his antics over the poor mortals who also inhabit his Earth. DiCaprio just doesn’t have that same sense of self-righteousness, but he does play the part very well. Jonah Hill is surprisingly good at acting- who knew he can do more than play stoners? 

However the biggest surprise was Margot Robbie, a young Australian actress who cut her acting teeth on the long running soap, Neighbours. How did a kid like that end up opposite one of the biggest stars in Hollywood with one of the most respected directors at the helm? Margot plays Belfort’s second wife, who has somehow changed her name from Nadine in real life to Naomi on screen. There are moments when she appears clearly starstruck by her leading man, and PR reports to hype the film agree

So, is the movie any good? Take a bathroom break before you watch it; like most Scorsese films, it’s very long. The first half is pure debauchery and the plot kicks in about halfway through. DiCaprio even says it in the film: you don’t care how they got rich, you just want to see the debauchery. Once Belfort & Co start laundering money to Swiss bank accounts, it turns into a different film. Peter Jackson surely would have turned it into a trilogy… 

It’s well acted, mostly true to the book (assuming the book is mostly true to real life) and if pedants can forgive the multiple name changes of characters and the constant swearing, you’ll probably enjoy it as well. 

Four out of five popcorns. 


January 11, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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