The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★★½

"But then I remembered that I was rich."

This is a capital-M MOVIE, a real juggernaut that for all its up-to-eleven excess is deceptively light on its feet. Scorcese and Schoonmaker deserve all the plaudits available for making a three-hour movie that zips by, as well as being funnier than most comedies (the infamous super-quaaludes sequences is an actual work of art on its own).

Even in his current "mature" phase (the guy has to be in his late thirties at least), diCaprio has the sort-of curse of looking perpetually boyish. This cuts against some of his roles, but fits perfectly here; in his big boxy late-80s suits, he looks like a kid dressing up as an adult. In their raucous self-indulgence and constant one-upmanship, Belfort and his fellow brokers are forces of pure childlike id, fuelled by millions of dollars worth of other people's money. (Belfort shrieking at Kyle Chandler's straight-arrow fed "YOU'RE the little man!" is maybe the key to the whole film.)

But as Belfort skates along, the people caught in his wake tend to pop up around the edges ("three years later he got depressed and killed himself", the plane that crashes after the storm sequences). The dueling voiceovers and frequent "adjustments" of onscreen events tip their hand to the woozy, pliable "reality" of the movie. This is a tale told by a sociopath, strutting through his own self-aggrandising fantasies, and it's utterly merciless towards him.

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