ARegularGuy’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have now watched The Wolf Of Wall Street two times, and I finally realize why this movie is not a 9 or 10 for me.
The Wolf Of Wall Street is the story of Jordan Belfort, from his lowly beginnings to his skyrocketing and illegal career as a stockbroker. It's crude, raunchy and over the top; yet it claims everything is true.
This is where one of problems lies with this movie. I get that Jordan Belfort was a crazy man who did a lot of crazy things, but there are just certain things in this movie that just wouldn't happen. I don't care if it's in his autobiography, people lie. Just get used to it.
However, this movie is still really really good. The story is good, the acting is phenomenal (can we just give Leo his god damn Oscar please), the writing is sharp and fresh, and it is overall really good. It's a well done film by a great filmmaker.
Martin Scorsese is a film god. I'm pretty sure this is just a fact and no one can really argue otherwise. He has inspired many directors and made something his own that other people copy. He is a pioneer, no question. So when I see Scorsese do this movie I'm expecting fantastic greatness from it. His last endeavor, Hugo, was easily one of the best of 2011, and before that The Departed is arguably his best film of all time. Mr. Scorsese had a good streak going. So maybe my expectations were too high, but the direction of this film is okay. It just isn't anything great. There's nothing here that shouts amazing direction. Nothing, and the reason for this is actually quite simple. Leonardo DiCaprio wanted to make this movie more than anything in the world. But he didn't want to direct it, so he asked his pal Scorsese to direct it for him. Scorsese was actually reluctant to do it but did it as a favor to DiCaprio. The point I'm trying to make is Scorsese just wasn't passionate enough about the project.
When directing something, if you don't care about the product you're making, why should I as a viewer care about it either? I'm not saying Scorsese didn't care, because I know he did, but he wasn't motivated. He was doing a favor. In all honesty I believe Leo did more directing than Scorsese did, and that's okay, it just doesn't have the charm of a true Scorsese movie.
To me that's where the film's problems lie. Besides that, this movie is amazing. I really love this movie don't get me wrong, but the decent direction makes the overall film not as amazing as it could have been.
Another minor gripe I have is the editing. It's really bad sometimes, like with a dialogue between two characters, it's pretty shitty. But I understand why they did it. They needed a shorter runtime and so the decided to cut a few seconds out of every shot, which gave them a lot of minutes on the cutting floor. Only problem is that as a viewer is feels a bit choppy.
But honestly Jonah Hill is amazing, he deserves the Oscar. Also Margot Robbie out of nowhere has suddenly become a most wanted star and rightfully so, she's superb in this film. She fits the role perfectly and is incredibly attractive. Also Leo. Damn. Just so good in everything.
This movie is great. It deserves the praise it gets, but I just feel the direction lacks and therefore creates a less than stellar film. But overall, amazing. Cannot wait for the next Scorsese picture, I hope he's passionate about that one.