The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ★★½

The biggest problem with the film is not the excesses portrayed on-screen, but Scorsese's over-indulgent filmmaking. I might be more forgiving of its weak dramatic structure if the film was a tight 2 hours, but as it stands there are many scenes that just go on and on way past their prime. While some scenes are true gems, others just feel incredibly self-indulgent for both director and actors--they neither develop character nor move the plot forward. I don't know if long-time editor/collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker just couldn't rein Marty in on this one, but she should have pushed to shave at least an hour off this bloated mess. Wolf of Wall Street stands in stark contrast to Scorsese's masterpiece Goodfellas, a film with a similar autobiographical perspective, yet with a superior dramatic structure, more interesting and better developed characters, and much higher stakes.