Mostly Stupid Thoughts of Wolf of Wall Street

Wolf (as I’ll refer to the film) is very good but too long. That makes sense thematically—it’s a bloated, excessive film about bloat and excess—but it loses steam towards the end.

When I started writing this post, I typed “It’s not a great film, but if it was 2.5 hours long and not three, then it might be.”. The more I think about that, the less I believe it. One of the reasons I can’t label it great is that I didn’t care what happened to Belfort. Whether he went to prison for life or kept his freedom didn’t matter to me. For me to invest emotionally, Belfort had to either be an utter shit that I hoped got his comeuppance, or a likeable guy who I hoped got away with it. And, oddly, that problem seems to be DiCaprio’s fault.

Leo’s performance was great. He shows a remarkable range–from gurning, mic-swinging maniac to Quaalude overdoser to Joanna Lumley wincher. But he’s too likeable for me to despise the character he was playing, yet the character was too bad a person for me to pull for. DiCaprio’s Belfort got stuck in the middle-ground, which gave me no reason to care about him either way. I hope that makes sense.

Did we need to see Jordan’s father answering his phone, or having a long conversation about hooker expenses? Did the butler’s orgy and theft add anything to the story? I haven’t read the book Wolf is based on, but it seemed like Scorsese was throwing these things in because they were in the book. But they added nothing.

Mathew McConaughey did a great job in limited minutes. He had some tough dialogue to deliver in that restaurant scene, with would’ve seemed long if he hadn’t been so convincing.

I wondered if Scorsese was having some fun here. At the start of the scene McConaughey asks for a second round of drinks to be delivered exactly 7.5 minutes after the first. Given that scene’s length, I wouldn’t be surprised if that scene was in real-time and the drinks actually arrived 7.5 minutes after the others.

Jordan watched as a plane he could have been on blew up. He seemed to forget about that event quickly. I certainly did.

‘Rugrat’ looked like Brick Tamland without looking like Steve Carell. I don’t know how that’s possible.

There were sooo many boobs

Wolf is a tough film to eat during. Every piece of dialogue seemed unscored, audibly exposing those of us in the cinema rustling through popcorn bags and crisp packets. Think of the everyday people, Martin.



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