The Wolf of Wall Street
Like any Quaalude high, The Wolf of Wall Street depends on a certain degree of willing consumption, cerebral detachment and tenacity to be considered successful. A three-hour-long vulgar-athon, it chronicles the rise, fall, and second coming of stockbroker turned motivational speaker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), while launching drug abuse, dwarfism (literally), vacant females and a bouffant Matthew McConaughey screenward. Its sundry euphoric moments defy such empty contrivances, though, and are instead found in the pitch-black exchanges between Jordan and his protégé Donny (Hill), and Belfort’s exquisite spasming when in the grip of some dodgy ‘ludes.
Unlike comparable subjects Frank Abagnale, Howard Hughes, and Henry Hill, Jordan Belfort is depicted entirely without charm, which means Scorsese’s badfella is interesting only as his heady trajectory remains skyward. When his inevitable decline begins, a modern truism emerges: it’s impossible to care for a bent broker on a comedown. [Kirsty Leckie-Palmer]