2 The Wolf of Wall Street
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner
The director. The subject matter. The epic running time. All the signs point to real-life stock-market story The Wolf of Wall Street being classic, old-school Martin Scorsese: swearing, big speeches, bigger performances, a spot of social critique and lashings of classic rock. But while many of these elements are present, something unexpected has snuck in alongside them: huge crowd-pleasing laughs.
This is the funniest movie of Scorsese’s career – earlier efforts like The King of Comedy and After Hours may have been brilliant, but their chuckles were colder and more unsettling. The Wolf of Wall Street plays modern tragedy as epic farce, reminding us just how much fun Scorsese can be when he’s in a playful mood.
It also proves – equally unexpectedly – that Leonardo DiCaprio can do comedy. He plays Jordan Belfort, an unscrupulous stock-market wizard who, in his early twenties, became a multi-multi-millionaire by fleecing Americans out of their hard-earned investments. Belfort – along with his goofy-toothed sidekick Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) – lived the good life for the best part of a decade. That is, until the authorities came a-knocking...
Predictably, The Wolf of Wall Street is more flash than substance. Scorsese never digs too deeply under the skin of these reprehensible conmen, and there are times where the swooping photography, smash-and-grab editing and toe-tapping soundtrack conspire to almost – almost – make us like them. But when the film’s cylinders are firing, it’s impossible not to be dragged along. The big set-pieces – a squirm-inducing encounter between DiCaprio and Joanna Lumley on a London park bench, a Mediterranean cruise that goes horribly wrong and, most memorably, a grandiose slapstick sequence involving a sports car – are among the most memorable of Scorsese’s career, rivalling Goodfellas for sheer vitality. The result may not be the most measured take on the ongoing financial crisis, but it is without doubt the most entertaining.
However, some viewers may be disappointed to learn that an estimated 45 minutes of material has been cut from the international release to suit regional audiences. Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs1,109,254
Weekly admissions: 25,498
Total box office: Dhs4,404,693
Total admissions: 100,657