The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★½

A place where a drug trip is odyssey, sex an orgy, eating: gorging, spending: splurging. No, this is not the purge of Ancient Rome (Caligula would have blushed) but the insatiable appetite of the New York stock exchange in Martin Scorsese’s glorious The Wolf of Wall Street.

Scorsese delivers, from a screenplay by Terence Winter (of The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire), a three-hour memoir of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, based on his autobiography. There’s a lot of interest in Belfort’s small helping of justice, remaining a free man where others that he stole from or handed to the FBI have been less fortunate. That being said, the criticism is not of the content of the film, which is mostly comprised of parties, sex, drug use and near-death experiences. Some are angry about what is missing, his comeuppance, the lack of a moral equilibrium. As though we'd expect it from Scorsese, who has spent much of his career endearing us to criminals. If Belfort were dead, these arguments might falter, and yet, is it not Belfort's dumb luck that makes his story so thrilling, so nauseating, and so damn fun?

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