The Wolf of Wall Street: An Epic Masterpiece

Left to right: Leonardo DiCaprio is Jordan Belfort and Jonah Hill is Donnie Azoff in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, from Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures.

The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardio DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie, is an epic visual storytelling masterpiece from Martin Scorsese.

Martin Scorsese and masterpiece are words that seem to go together every few years. Looking back on its 8th anniversary, this film is no exception. With the filmmaker supervising a new film transfer, the picture has never been more beautiful. Both Scorsese and DiCaprio have a history so there’s a shorthand in their collaborations. Moreover, there’s no shortage of improvisation that goes into the film, too. We have a film about love, power, sex, and drugs. Basically, everything but rock and roll! To say that there are a lot of parties would not be an understatement!

In Leonardo DiCaprio’s words, this is a film that’s “bold, daring, and dangerous.” The actor actually brought it to Scorsese but it took a while to get the financing set up. This film is perfect for Scorsese’s style so it’s all the better that things eventually came together. Good things come to those who wait! The end result, of course, led to five Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter). You’d think Thelma Schoonmaker would have gotten a nomination for how much she helped in shaping the the story in the edit.

In his portrayal of the larger-than-life Jordan Belfort, DiCaprio delivers one of the best performances of his career. It’s dark comedy about Belfort’s rise and fall so there’s a solid amount of humor here. When you look at DiCaprio’s choices over the years, comedy isn’t something that we tend to associate with him. Not since Growing Pains, anyway. DiCaprio has amazing chemistry with co-star Jonah Hill, who stars as friend and business partner Donnie Azoff. Years later, the duo are starring together in the Solzy Award-winning Don’t Look Up. What comes as a shock is how much Hill is paid compared to DiCaprio. It’s honestly absurd especially when you look at the running time. This is a lot of work to not get paid at least close to equal value!

The gist of the film is that Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) recounts his life as a stockbroker on Wall Street and his firm, Stratton Oakmont. It stretches from 1987 into the mid-1990s. Belfort’s fall came because of the corruption and fraud taking place at Stratton Oakmont. The corruption and fraud is what ultimately led to Belford’s downfall. A “modern-day Roman empire” as DiCaprio says during the roundtable on the bonus features. Mind you, this is a three-hour epic so there’s a lot going on. There’s the Matthew McConaughey chant. Margot Robbie portrays Belfort’s wife, Naomi Lapaglia. Kyle Chandler costars as the man trying to catch Belfort, FBI agent Patrick Denham. Funny enough, Bernie Madoff’s schemes were going beneath the surface but everyone knew what Belfort was doing. Imagine that.

Bonus Features

  • The Wolf Pack (HD)
  • Running Wild (HD)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street Round Table (HD)

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese
SCREENWRITER: Terence Winter
CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Favreau, and Jean Dujardin

Paramount released The Wolf of Wall Street in theaters on December 25, 2013. The film is now available on 4K Ultra HD.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.