THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Scorsese’s latest ﬁ lm is a tapestry of New York 80s excess
A s with his wonderfully fluent Goodfellas, which chronicled the rise and fall of real-life gangster Henry Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street sees Martin Scorsese bring exhaustive meticulousness to Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). This dodgy share-trader’s skill at making a fast buck precipitates a similarly precipitous fall from grace. Belfort’s line about how having a ‘Bond-villain boat’ caused him to behave like one is probably the most succinct of a number of lengthy speeches in Terence Winter’s script, all delivered with commitment by DiCaprio.
Belfort begins his career as a newbie to Wall Street, getting a fast education in the merits of avarice and cocaine from high-flying boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) before the downturn on Black Friday turfs him out. Reinventing himself in the world of penny shares, Belfort recruits help in the unlikely form of Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a buck-toothed sidekick happy to enable and
share a life of fast cars, nubile women, mind- bending narcotics and illegal trading. But the intervention of the FBI’s Patrick Denham (well played by Kyle Chandler) means that this wolf won’t survive for long.
tapestry of excess There’s no lack of effort in the numerous short and memorable scenes that pepper the that Scorsese’s three-hour film comprises, with highpoints including a wild escapade on Quaaludes and Belfort’s dalliance with his wife’s mother Emma (Joanna Lumley). But the director has examined brotherly love too many times before. As a major filmmaker, it’s about time Scorsese found some material that stretched his ideas, rather than his audience’s patience. Like its central character, The Wolf of Wall Street is too busy revelling in excess to consider the moral complexities with any depth. (Eddie Harrison)
(18) 180min ●●●●● On general release now.
HITLIST THE BEST FILM RELEASES & EVENTS
✽ The Night of the Hunter A chance to see a restored version of Charles
Laughton’s chilling 1955 gothic horror about a bogus preacher turned killer. See our 5-star review, page 58. On limited release now.
✽ Dark Days Influential documentary made by Marc Singer in 2000 that recorded the
lives of a group of homeless people living in a train tunnel underneath New York City. See review, page 57. GFT, Glasgow, Fri 24–Mon 27 Jan.
✽ Inside Llewyn Davis Oscar Isaac stars as a struggling folk musician living in 1960s Greenwich Village in this, the Coen Brothers’ sixteenth feature film. See interview, page 26 and our 5-star review, page 59. General release from Fri 24 Jan.
✽ Dallas Buyers Club Oscar contender based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a rodeo cowboy who is diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and begins a ‘buyers club’ importing unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into the States. See review, page 57. General release from Fri 7 Feb.
✽ Her Spike Jonze directs this inventive romantic sci-fi about a man who falls in love with his computer’s operating system, with fine performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson and Amy Adams. See feature, page 56 and review, page 57. General release from Fri 14 Feb.
✽ Glasgow Film Festival: Opening Gala Arriving straight from its world
premiere at Berlin Film Festival, Wes Anderson’s interwar caper The Grand Budapest Hotel is guaranteed to be an exhilarating start to Glasgow’s annual celebration of film. See feature, page 22. GFT, Glasgow, Thu 20 Feb.
23 Jan–20 Feb 2014 THE LIST 55