Tom dePerto’s review published on Letterboxd:
Martin Scorsese is, simply put, one of the most brilliant persons alive. At 71 years of age, this man can still bring something fresh, original and powerful to the table like he did 30 years ago. Nothing feels overly saturated, forced or "desperate". And that's what I love about Scorsese. He can take any and every story and make a good movie out of it, as he has proven before.
DiCaprio is, once again, magnificent in his role. He'll probably end up getting snubbed by, you know.. those guys who don't really care about a film's quality but instead what appeals to them. Hopefully not, and I think he has a pretty good chance of not being ignored this time around.Jonah Hill, however, has a 75% chance of being nominated yet again for Best Actor in a Supporting Role award at the Oscars. Two-Time Academy Award Nominee Jonah Hill. How fucking great does that sound?!
Jordan Belfort was a really messed up individual. As a newspaper in the movie describes him, he's a twisted-up Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives the money to himself, which he then proceeds to waste in all kinds of drugs, prostitutes (yes, apparently, they aren't all alike...) and cancer-curing side-orders. I think the character's essence was really well-captured, and all that is achieved not only by DiCaprio's performance, but by the amazing script written by Terence Winter.
There was an issue with the movie that actually bothered me a bit, which is that drugs aren't really depicted as that bad in this film. Sure, they did help mess up Jordan's life, but they weren't the main cause. Far from it. His ambition was to blame for that. Drugs, especially cocaine, did basically nothing to him, even though he was under their influence every day (the amount of drugs he took every day is actually impressive - I don't know how one could take that much!). It didn't drag the movie down or anything, I just thought it was kind of weird.
You can definetely spot Scorsese's trademark style (and his voice) in the film, which I thought was really similar to Goodfellas both in style and structure. He takes us through various stages of Belfort's life, including his rise to fame, his mistakes, and ultimately, his downfall. It was all really well-put together, and while very long, it manages to keep the viewer entertained and interested in seeing how the plot'll play out.
What's more admirable about all this is that, somehow, Scorsese makes us sympathize with these characters, even though we know they're absolute degenerate filth. This is pretty much 180 minutes of high DiCaprio and company. The film has such a well-achieved comedic tone to it that it made me feel more "open" to these characters. No, not "open" like that, don't you dare make jokes about it on the comments section... I mean, this film is really funny. And they all play their comedic parts really well. Jonah Hill is, as we all know, a comedian, so that wasn't the bit least surprising, but I didn't expect DiCaprio to be this funny. Awesome cameo from Matthew McConaughey, who seems to be really turning his career around.
Although a bit exaggerated (obviously), the sexual acts and party scenes were necessary for the story. They were like fuel to the movie, and I don't think it would have been as good without them. That's because they tell us how crazy these guys are, how corruption and greed were so present at the time.
Rest assured, this allows for some real uncomfortability... It was halfway through the film that I discovered that my parents had followed me to the theater after I said I didn't want to see it with them. It was less embarassing than it could have been because the second half of the movie doesn't really have that much sexuality in it. It was, nevertheless, a bad experience. This is why you should lie to your parents...
The Wolf of Wall Street not only is one of the best movies to come out in 2013, but it is also one of Scorsese's very best, if not the best, films ever. An incredibly hilarious cautionary tale about drug addiction, theft, dishonesty and fraud, The Wolf of Wall Street comes very highly recommended! Just... don't see it with your family members. You might not enjoy watching DiCaprio snort cocaine off a prostitute's anus with their company. You've been warned!