I was in as soon as I heard ‘Martin Scorsese’s new film’. Doesn’t mean I’ll automatically love it (we’ll get to that), but I’ll see what he’s selling.
And Leo. He’ll always have the blessing and the curse of Titanic, but as an actor, he almost always comes through with the parts (and choices) he makes. Like DeNiro in his prime, working with Marty doesn’t hurt of course.
So that brings us to Wolf of Wall Street. Marty and Leo take us through Wall Street before it came crashing down, when an ambitious kid learned how the system work (a great, great two scene contribution from McConaughey), then figures out where the loopholes are and takes advantage (until he inevitably gets caught). It’s a very modern, American tale of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, with a lot of laughs (enter Jonah Hill) mixed into this ‘new school’ crime tale (this is still Scorsese we’re talking about).
My gripe with this film is a catch 22. It’s three hours long. And none of it is bad per se, but it is a 180 minute long movie. As interesting as I think the world is, do I personally think we needed to stay here for a longer time than we spent with Goodfellas, The Departed, Raging Bull, the Aviator, Casino, or Gangs of New York? Nope, I’d put all those films ahead of this one. But who is going to tell Martin Scorsese how long his film needs to be? Again, I don’t know if anything felt completely out of place, but at say, 2 and a half hours, I think it might have been in the same class as the six films I listed above. Impossibly high standard I know, but he set it.