Sex. Drugs. Stockbroking. There…I’ve summed up The Wolf of Wall Street in three very exact words. But in case you’re dying for more, read on.
Leonardo Dicaprio. He has been a staple actor in my life for as long as I can remember. Like any girl from the 90s, I first fell in love with him as do-gooder-I’m-radiating-nothing-but-sunshine Jack in Titanic. Cliche, yes, but true nonetheless. He went thought his awkward stage (refer to The Man In The Iron Mask) and then we disappeared from the acting world for a short bit. Then, BAM. He came back in Gangs of New York and Blood Diamond, and Leo has been a full-on man ever since. Since the return from that hiatus, he’s been ever-so impressive, and I cannot believe it has taken the Academy this long to recognize his talent. Again. (Remember his Oscar snub with his performance in last year’s Django Unchained? Cuz I sure do!)
It’s because of Leo’s solid performance here that made The Wolf of Wall Street the Best Picture nominee that it is. Sure, Jonah Hill was good. I really enjoy seeing him reach for roles in what could be considered more “serious” films. (They’re more serious than Superbad, anyway!) His nomination for Moneyball was well-earned. This one I need my arm twisted a bit, but he was good. I’ll give him that (despite his having a prosthetic penis with Wall Street.)
There’s no doubt about Martin Scorsese and his directing genius. The man knows how to shoot a film and make it feel rock n’ roll from start to finish. My biggest problem with Wolf? It took so long to get back to the story. Granted, Jordan Belfort’s story isn’t a simple one. There’s stockbroking and a lot of bullshitting involved. How else could he have been such a success with the stock market? But by hour two, I was ready for this movie to be over. Like a said, there’s a whole lot of sex, drugs, and a bit of stockbroking, but trust me. I got the gist of how wild and crazy these money-mongers were by the time we were 30 minutes into the film. I mean, not even ten minutes in and you see Leo snorting crack off the ass cheeks of his (first of MANY) hookers. There’s a reason this film was almost rated NC-17. A girl can only watch men have sex with hookers atop their desk (whilst working the stock exchange, mind you) before getting tired of it.
Now, by the time we hit the 2.5 hour benchmark, I may or may not have been glancing at my phone’s clock every 10 minutes wondering when the film was going to end, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t golden nuggets I greatly enjoyed throughout the films’ entire 3-hour stretch. As you could imagine, many of them involve Leo. While I might not love The Wolf of Wall Street, I’m in love with Leo’s performance and I really think this is going to be his year. Fingers crossed hard here!
Here are my Top 10 favorite moments from The Wolf of Wall Street (WARNING: Spoilers may occur.):
1.) Leo’s dance sequence at his wedding reception
2.) The entirely improvised scene of Leo being high on lemons and climbing into his car
A small taste…
Now watch the genius at work:
3.) Margot Robbie’s foot putting a stop to Leo’s sexual nonsense
4.) Leo teaching his team how to make a big league sale while screwing over the customer. All at the same time.
5.) The slicked-back look works oh-so-well on Leo
6.) Matthew McConaughey’s short, really very strange, yet sweet, performance (I never thought I’d say that about him. Ever.)
7.) Naomi’s Engagement Ring
8.) Throwing water in Leo’s face not once, but three, times followed by one of his finer freak-outs of the entire film
9.) Jonah Hill risking drowning himself to save the Quaaludes before The Naomi capsizes
10.) Another fine airplane freak out by none other than…you guessed it: Leo.
Honorable Mention: Seeing a lady wrapped and taped in $2 million.
All in all, I enjoyed the first 1.5 hours and the last 20 minutes of The Wolf of Wall Street. Everything else in between, I think I pretty much blacked out because, for some reason, Scorsces didn’t think we’d grasp how wild and crazy Jordan Belfort was with his money and company. Let me tell you a little secret: you’ll get the idea right away.
Of all nine Best Picture nominees, I’d probably have to say this is the one I liked the least. But Leo’s performance isn’t diminished by this. His is one of the best performances of them all. I hope the Academy sees it that way, too.