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The Wolf of Wall Street

This was one of my most anticipated movies of the past year. I love Scoresese and Dicaprio, separately or together. Usually they are a pretty dark duo, so I knew that what looked like a rowdy and rambunctious film would have some deliciously shady undercurrents. Just the way I like it!

Leo plays Jordan Belfort, a guy who built his Wall Street company from the ground up, making millions along the way and living a life of the utmost excess. Of course, that excess gets a bit, um, excessive and soon he finds himself in an excess of trouble including drug addiction and federal investigation.

The film has been critized for glorifying his party lifestyle, but I disagree. Or at least, I don't think that's the point. Yes, it looks like Jordan is having an incredible blast, but fun doesn't equal happy. He pays a big price to maintain that extremely superficial lifestyle. Even when the going's good, it doesn't look or feel real, which is likely why he does feel the need to keep trying for more. That said, maybe from a clock perspective, they could have trimmed down just a little bit of partying from the 3 hour run time.

Already, I know this is going to go down as one of my favorite performances from Dicaprio. I was gonna say favorite in a while, but then I remembered Calvin Candie in Django Unchained. What the two of these have in common, and why I love them so much, is that Leo is letting loose and having fun. Scroll thru his IMDB credits and you see roles full of intensity and severity. Now, he is great at those, but seeing him let loose is just such a treat. And it gives him a new dynamic that is very much engaging.

I also love the fact that Jonah Hill is getting Oscar buzz again. His nomination for Moneyball made me happy because I thought it was just a once in a lifetime thing for him, but now he's starting to prove himself as a real actor. For Moneyball, it was how different that character was from his usual schtick that made the quiet role impressive. For Wolf, he's found a way to work his awkward humor into a weightier film. The cousin coversation, pure Hill. He also, surprisingly, supplied a lot of the heart of the film. His Donnie was the friend that Jordan always counted on for support.

There were a few other friendly faces in the cast. Matthew McConaughey had a brief scene stealing bit (the awards talk died down though, presumably once people noticed how small the role actually was). I also thoroughly enjoyed watching Jean Dujardin in his first high profile post-Artist role. I found Margot Robbie utterly captivating as Jordan's second wife, and Cristin Milioti fordiable as his first.

So it was worth waiting until the calendar nearly ran out to see what would become one of my favorites of the year. Alas, it seems the film came out too late and under too much controversy to be the big player it could have been this awards season. But who knows. Maybe I'll be proven wrong.

The Wolf of Wall Street - \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/
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