Sunday, February 2, 2014


Finally saw THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and can see why DiCaprio was nominated for so many awards. It may be the best work he's done since he was young. And for once, I wasn't distracted by his boyish looks and presence because they seemed to fit the juvenile perspective and behavior of the character. (Chiwetel Ejiofor is still my choice for Best Actor in a film in 2013.)

And as always, Martin Scorcese keeps you interested with sharp edits and montages and angles and etc. Though as sometimes happens with a Scorcese flick, for my taste anyway, there is often some miscasting, or weak casting, and moments of inexplicable and sometimes over the top "acting"—in quotes. (Like, I love Rob Reiner, but as DiCaprio's character's dad, Mad Max, he seems two dimensional and almost like he's in another movie.)

Matthew McConaughy, on the other hand, in a small role demonstrates why he seems to be at the top of his game these days. Every moment he's on screen is mesmerizing and believable. And yes, Jonah Hill does some of his best work, but his character too at times seemed very unreal to me, more shtick than real life, and after all it's supposed to be a true story. (His first scenes with DiCaprio were so believable and unlike any other work I've seen of Hill's, I was knocked out and expected the reality of that character to continue, but soon, like I said, here came the familiar Jonah Hill shtick that, to me, seemed completely unrelated to the character as first introduced.)

The real revelation was the Australian actress playing DiCaprio's wife (second wife, but his character's main female match in the flick), Margot Robbie. Her accent, supposed to be from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, was good enough to come across as authentic, and certainly didn't make me think of Australia or any other place other than New York. (John Bernthal, from THE WALKING DEAD, is also terrific as a narcissistic New York small time hustler, and a revelation in his own right.)

I suspect it will win some awards, and certainly deserves the nominations it's gotten, but in the end I see even better performances than DiCaprio's and Robbie's for leading roles (and even McCounaghy's or Hill's for supporting roles) and better direction, editing, etc. in other movies. But WOLF OF WALL STREET, despite at times being way too indulgent, to the point of seeming not just extraneous but exploitative, is still worth watching for Scorcese's usual moments of incredible artistry and for DiCaprio's, McConaughy's, Robbie's and Bernthal's performances).

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