A must-see film for movie buffs… if you don’t mind a lot of swearing and tons of nudity.
Why I Saw It: I try to see all of the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and this one was getting some great reviews. Leonardo DiCaprio typically does a great job, and I like the fact that Jonah Hill is making the most of the high-profile roles he has gotten in the past few years.
Rating: 8.7 out of 10
The script was good enough to make a three hour film fly by with ease, the acting performances were as good as I was expecting, but I don’t know that this is going to be a film that I’d rave about five years from now.
Memorable Performances: That Leonardo DiCaprio has a memorable performance is no surprise here. He essentially takes the character he portrayed in Catch Me If You Can and stepped it up a notch. There were some scenes that could’ve come across absurd, but he played it nicely. Jonah Hill’s performance was even better than I had expected, and I figured it was going to be as good as what he did in Moneyball. Despite having only a few scenes near the beginning, Matthew McConaughey’s performance was consistent with the high quality he has shown the past three years. Kyle Chandler (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) was really good in his role as the FBI Agent assigned to investigate DiCaprio’s character, and it could’ve been pedestrian. I would’ve liked to have seen more of that character featured in the film, which might be the case if there’s an extended cut released when this hits Blu-ray, given how the film ended.
Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:
- Leonardo DiCaprio – Best Actor
- Jonah Hill – Best Supporting Actor
Favorite Parts: There’s an amazing scene where DiCaprio’s character is trying to leave a country club, and he encounters some difficulties in returning home. Another scene which was enjoyable was the back-and-forth between DiCaprio and Chandler on the yacht. A scene I’m looking forward to watching again is the one where DiCaprio is meeting with the Swiss banker. And then there’s DiCaprio’s dancing…
The Regrettable Aspects: I’m not personally offended by any of the drug use or sex scenes, but I’m hoping they release an edit of the film that takes out some of the more hardcore aspects of the film, as it’s slightly disappointing that a lot of people aren’t going to appreciate the film because of those aspects, and at times, those aspects seemed a bit gratuitous. I mentioned it before, but I also wish they had included more plot points with Kyle Chandler’s character, and to a lesser degree, more with Matthew McConaughey.
Would I watch it again? Absolutely. It’s not an overly complicated film, and while it’s not the type of film that’s extremely enjoyable to watch, it’s certainly worthy of a couple more viewings. It’s not a movie I could envision myself wanting to own on Blu-ray.
To Whom Would I Recommend It? If an abundance of sex scenes is something that isn’t going to bother you too much, I’d recommend giving this movie a try. There were a few older couples (retirement age or older) in the theater when I watched it, and they didn’t seem to mind those scenes (nobody got up and left). It’s not the type of film that every audience is going to enjoy, but there’s no doubt it’s a good film.
– CATCH ME IF YOU CAN – There were a lot of similarities between what DiCaprio did in his lead role in both of these films, though CMIYC arguably has the better cat-and-mouse game with Tom Hanks as the opposition to DiCaprio.
– BOILER ROOM – Though some people might like the comparison to WALL STREET, the Ben Affleck / Giovanni Ribisi flick is far more comparable.
– MIDDLE MEN – I’d say that if you see the two aforementioned films and MIDDLE MEN, you’ll have a great idea for the tone of this film… though you’d also have to throw in a few dashes of softcore porn to get the right mix.
If you’ve got recommendations for alternatives to THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, or for other similar films, let me know!