When cinephiles of the future look fondly to the past, there will be certain filmmakers who have made such an indelible impression, they have changed cinema and the extent to where we can push it. Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Howard Hawks. The one person who would be right on top of that list is Martin Scorsese. On the 40th anniversary of his first masterpiece, Mean Streets, Marty (as we all affectionately know him as) has released his 23rd film, The Wolf of Wall Street, and has successfully added it to his list of masterpieces.
Credit must be given to Leonardo DiCaprio, who not only gives his greatest screen performance yet, but had so much passion for this project, he essentially hired Marty to direct it. And the story – oh boy, is it one for the ages! Jordan Belfort was a mastermind criminal but a brutally brilliant businessman. You find yourself being absolutely disgusted by him, but you root for him deep down. It is certainly acting in its finest form, and he essentially plays five characters – hopeful young businessman, genius stock-broker, emperor of a huge kingdom, drug-addict criminal and a man drowning in a sea of his own making. Also an incredibly comedic part, I don’t think anyone could have done the character more justice than Leo.
Of course the supporting cast is amazing as well – particularly Jonah Hill, who dons huge glasses and false teeth to play the gloriously deceitful but strangely lovable Donnie Azoff and Margot Robbie, who has the look and acting talents to confirm that she is going to be the next big star, along the lines of Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams. Glorious cameos come in the form of Matthew McConaughey, who is experiencing a personal Renaissance if there ever was one, and Jean Dujardin as the slimy banker in Switzerland. Joanna Lumley is also brilliant in her screen time as Aunt Emma, and brings one of the most hilarious one-liners in the film.
The Wolf of Wall Street is unlike any film I’ve ever seen before. It is the darkest of comedies, the most glorious of criminal thrillers and if like me you’ve looked into the world of the stock market, it just makes it all the more funny, because let us be serious – the stock market is a circus of characters and unpredictable behaviour. And Leonardo DiCaprio is right there as the ringleader, carrying this film to greatness and the impending cult success it will receive.
Best film of 2013