SilentDawn’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Wolf of Wall Street is a ferocious ride of debauchery and bad choices. And I freaking enjoyed every minute of it. Scorsese is one crazy genius, and this just might be the pure distillation of that genius. It just screams, "SCORSESE SCORSESE SCORSESE SCORSESE!" in every frame of this movie; It's loud, dirty, vile, disturbing, scary, funny, silly, and fantastic.
It's funny how 2013 was the year of the "American Dream Satire." Both Spring Breakers and Pain and Gain brought fascinating and wild stories to the screen, but Scorsese's film outruns them in both style and the inner working of themes. Let's face it, for how much I loved Pain and Gain, it isn't exactly a subtle satire. TWOWS, no matter how uproarious and crass, is a quieter and more effective film in regards to the satire of capitalism and the american dream. In Michael Bay's film, he's basically saying; "Hey, I hope you can see the satire behind all the boobs!" In Martin Scorsese's film, he's basically saying; "Hey, It's okay that you're enjoying every minute of my movie, because there's a message to all this!"
And I find it interesting how controversial this film was on release. Wow, so a filmmaker can't express his story in a way that makes both narrative and visual sense? Really? Now, I'm not saying that this isn't a hard R-Rated film, it definitely is; but is there necessarily anything wrong with that? Can our current society not handle a director who is successful at portraying a life of excess and indulgence? Let's face it, Spring breakers is almost as sexually graphic as TWOWS. While the latter has much more sexual content in its story, most moments are comprised of fleeting glimpses and quick cuts. In Spring Breakers however, the luring and voyeuristic camera is focused on bodies and sexual acts in a much more erotic and revealing way; regardless if the context is of that nature.
So, what I'm trying to say is, SHUT THE HELL UP and enjoy the film.
Ok, so now that is over with.....
TWOWS is amazingly successful because of three qualities:
1. The incredible performances, with an OSCAR-DESERVING performance by Leonardo Dicaprio letting lose with a potent dose of primal rage.
2. The quick and profanity laden screenplay, with every character given proper character development and the story given proper breathing room.
3. Martin Scorsese's direction, whose infectious energy and power is still something to behold.
I just can't praise those three qualities enough. The film wouldn't be the same with any one of them missing. Together, these three qualities make up for one of Scorsese's finest films, and certainly one of his most entertaining films.
Many can say that they felt sick or repulsed while watching it. Awesome, because that means that Scorsese has done his job. However, I can also confess that I was completely fascinated and entranced by every second of TWOWS. In a incredible year for film, this was one of 2013's best offerings.