Director: Martin Scorsese (2014)
Making money has never seemed so debauched as in this glossy, foul–mouthed and darkly comic biopic.
It’s a blisteringly charismatic turn by DiCaprio as Belfort, a rampant, ravenous and depraved monster whose ego dominates the film.
Margot Robbie plays his underdressed trophy wife Naomi, but to her credit she isn’t overwhelmed by DiCaprio’s gleeful grandstanding.
In typical Scorsese style, dynamic camera-work and a storming soundtrack thrust us through criminal, chemical and domestic abuse while dressed in trashy clothes and driving a fleet of flash cars.
It is Scorsese’s finest film since his mobster masterpiece Goodfellas (1990). It’s similarly structured and high with comedy – at times it’s hilarious.
As Belfort talks directly to camera while walking you through his life, the dialogue even features some of the same key words and phrases to underline how crooked Wall Street is.
A ruthlessly brilliant salesman – imagine Gordon Gekko on Class A drugs – Belfort’s rapid rise is powered by his ability to foster corrupt practises among his employees and his business partner Donnie (Jonah Hill).
He doesn’t bother to explain in detail to the audience how it works but points to his huge spoils to prove hat it does. There are beds full of cash, planes full of prostitutes, showers of drugs, monkeys on rollerskates and dwarf-throwing contests.
Eventually the FBI chase him for his insider trading and his career, house and marriage are at risk.
In his most exhilarating movie since Casino and his best since Goodfellas, Scorsese points out that the wolf can only exist as a result of our greedy gullibility.
It failed to win any of the Oscars it was nominated for; best film, director, male lead, male support for Hill and best adapted screenplay. As DiCaprio couldn’t win a golden statue for this titanic effort – he may as well give up trying.