It runs 2 hours and 59 minutes, but there’s not a slow moment in it. Leonardo DiCaprio gives the most daunting performance of his career. Director Martin Scorsese does for Wall Street what he did for the mafia in “Goodfellas.” It’s a landmark effort that should be a darling during award season.
Leonardo DiCaprio gives the performance of his career playing Jordon Belfort. Today Belfort is successful sales trainer and personal motivator with a net worth of about $100 million dollars. It’s a second career, perhaps even a second lifetime for Belfort. In the early 1990s, Belfort founded a firm called Stratton Oakmont. It was a boiler room operation that hard-sold worthless penny stocks. The operation made Belfort fabulously wealthy and gave his firm’s duped clients million of dollars in loses. His major partner in the fraudulent enterprise is played by Jonah Hill.
The drug and financial excesses that symbolized Belfort and his cronies at this time is very explicitly detailed in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” You’ll see things in this motion picture you may not have seen before in a movie. But all of it is authentic to the ugly tale being told.
The supporting cast is the best I’ve seen in a long time and includes Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau and Jean Dujardin.
The standout of the supporting cast is Margot Robbie who plays Belfort’s wife during the good times. She is one of the few people in this sordid story that outsmarts Belfort.
Belfort was eventually indicted and imprisoned after he turned down a plea bargain with the government. He served a scant 20 months for all his crimes, not to mention the people he ruined financially. Even though he is a very wealthy man again today, he has reneged on the major part of his sentence involving restitution to the people he harmed. Somehow, that’s not surprising. If there’s a problem with this movie, it is that it kind of gives Belfort an almost likeable veneer. That is probable the only thing about this film that isn’t authentic.