Viewed 28 January 2014 Cinema
I will generally watch anything featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, who I believe to be one of the best actors of his generation and has turned out some quite remarkable performances over the years … highlights being Stephen Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can and most recently his villainous turn in Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The same could be said for his long standing partnership with famed director Martin Scorsese, easily one of the best in the business. And so we come to this their latest collaboration, but does it live up to their other works?
Based on a true story, DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort a man who becomes a millionaire during the eighties by working the stock markets to his favour, and lives life to the extreme, enjoying wealth, drugs, women, cars … and more drugs. This hectic and outrageous film portrays Belfort as a man of excess, where he becomes addicted to a lifestyle that can only end badly. Basically this is a rags to riches tale, and seems to follow the blue print of Scorsese own Goodfellas, swapping gangsters for crooked stock brokers but the theme remains the same.
It’s a heady mix that Scorsese delivers with his expected style and expertise – fast and full of information, a wealth of side characters and cameos (was that Joanna Lumley?) and various stand out performances, including a hilarious Jonah Hill and a memorable Matthew McConaughey. But of course this is DiCaprio’s movie and he’s is like a tornado – blowing through the movie and delivering one of his most crazy, complex and brilliant performances in years (think Gatsby on acid!). Along with a director still at the top of his game and a shocking, riveting story (even if at times its unbelievably mad) this fired on all cylinders. It also happens to be the funniest movie I have seen in a long time (the cerebral palsy sequence…yes, really).
Jordan Bellfort may not be one of DiCaprio’s more likable roles, but the movie is a drug-fuelled ride of parties, sex, nudity and full-on-entertainment that’s very hard not to get caught up in. Superb.
Verdict: 5 /5