The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★★

A sober man's study of an intoxicated one. Makes me want to prop Michael Bay in front of it, Clockwork Orange-style, and shout "This is how you do satire!" at deafening decibels. Truthfully, the peanut-brain would probably get off on it…which is how you do satire. Let the morons expose themselves, even as the viewers who fancy they're above it all (myself definitely included) quietly acknowledge the pleasure inherent—per George Carlin—in having gotten a ticket to the freak show. ("One of us, one of us…"—Marty knows what he's doing.)

This viewing I grooved even more on the aesthetic: The shifting aspect ratios (especially the final sequence that moves from 1.78 to 2.35 as Belfort leans vampirically toward his latest sucker); the voiceover that switches between characters and timelines (is Jordan remembering these events or experiencing them present-tense?); the way things stop dead cinematically so that we can revel in pure theatricality (I've rarely been so happy just sitting in the company of such repellent people). Wolf is bromantic bacchanal as spiritual purge; that inspired last shot could be framed and titled "Let Us Prey." I hope the movie's rep rises in retrospect.

Keith liked this review