Jay’s review published on Letterboxd:
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Terence Winter
Based on the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau, Matthew McConaughey & Joanna Lumley
Runtime: 179 min // Certificate: 18
Most of the criticisms I made in my previous review still stand, though I must admit to being less bothered by them this time around. I think it’s a testament to the film’s ability to engage its audience, even if the entertainment value is often crass, that the three hour runtime still flies by.
I think the main bonus here is that the film is perhaps funnier on a rewatch. The first time I saw it I didn’t have a clue what to expect and, as such, I found the lack of subtlety a tad off-putting. Going in with a greater knowledge of what Scorsese was hoping to achieve helps as it allows you – should you wish to do so – to embrace the spectacular debauchery and degeneracy much more willingly. The humour is dark, disgusting and unrelenting, and the film is all the better for it. I still think it runs out of steam in the final act, and I do think a cut of about half-an-hour or so wouldn’t have gone amiss, but for the most part it all works rather brilliantly. The last minute in particular, in which Scorsese points a rather accusatory finger at the public / audience - makes up for any reservations I might have about the final act, and helps alleviate the effect of the previous lull in both comedy and drama.
On another note, though I don’t wish to take anything away from Alfonso Cuarón’s Best Director win (which was well deserved, not to mention over a decade late), I do think Scorsese is at the top of his game here. He still possesses all of the skills with which he made a name for himself, yet with The Wolf of Wall Street he demonstrates that he’s still willing to indulge in and try brand new things. That, above all else, is why he remains one of the greatest directors working today.
Basically, everything I said in my previous review still stands but it gains an additional half a star for being even more enjoyable on a second viewing.
Click here for my previous review of this film (January 16, 2014)