The Future Mrs. RickJay and I watched “Wolf of Wall Street” last night as part of our ongoing project of catching up on all Best Picture nominees.
This movie just sucked.
I was amazed. I love Scorsese, I love Leo, I logically should have loved this movie. There was certainly a very good 100, 110-minute movie in here but it was packed into a 180-minute running time.
Much of the criticism of “Wolf of Wall Street” is that the movie is rather astonishingly sexist and misogynist; conversely, much of the defense of it is that it’s SUPPOSED to be, and that it challenges the viewer in that regard. I guess a case can be made either way, and I’m open to the idea that presenting the viewer with the opportunity to laugh at the constant stream of hookers, blow and humping and then hitting them with the legitimate cruelty of it is a good cinematic challenge to make.
The problem with that, I think, is that a moral gambit like that still needs a good movie to work around it, and this just isn’t a good movie. By the 2-hour mark the protagonist had only just started to face significant challenges; the parade of hookers, drugs, yelling and preening was just repetitive and boring, and not in a way that made you think “gosh, the characters are facing repetition and boredom.” The protagonist himself - Jordan somethingorother - was neither interesting nor appealing even as an anti-hero. You get only the shortest glimpses into his alleged sales genius, and much of what he says is instantly forgettable.
The excessive length and general boredom is made worse by the fact that it’s one of the more predictable movies in the history of cinema; within a few minutes, you know it’s a Scorsese movie and you know exactly where it’s going and how it’s going to get there. Nothing interesting or novel was attempted in the making of this movie.
What did it have going for it? Well, DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were very good. That’s about it.
I watched it right after the Oscars. I agree that it was too long, but I would give it a B rather than a D. It made me laugh pretty consistently all the way through. Was it intended to be a comedy? I don’t know, but it was one for me. The five main actors were all very good, in my opinion, although I admit that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams don’t have to try very hard for me to like what they do.
This made me laugh, too. Mostly because you seem to be talking about American Hustle, not Wolf of Wall Street. Easy to do. They’re both… movies. All right, kidding. They do both have Jennifer Lawrence.
Let’s clarify; Jennifer Lawrence was not in “Wolf of Wall Street” at all.
It is quite possible “Wolf of Wall Street” would have been improved by the addition of Ms. Lawrence in place of Margot Robbie, who put on the worst movie accent since they called movies “talkies.” When Robbie started talking I was honestly confused, and this exchange happened:
RICKJAY: What the hell is her accent supposed to be?
FUTURE MRS RICKJAY: Brooklyn. I think.
RICKJAY: She’s not Australian?
FMR: It’s… *supposed *to be Brooklyn.
Unsurprisingly, I found out later than Margot Robbie is, of course, Australian.
I didn’t hate WoWS, but I thought it was overrated and one of my least-favorite BP nominees last year. One of the problems, no doubt, was that Marty desperately needed an editor to chop at least 30 minutes out of the film.
I do think this was the major flaw of the film - so much time is spent on the booze/drugs/hookers/partying, with very little spent on his actual rise, downfall and redemption/resolution. Because of that, for me, the most ‘successful’ scenes were just the crazy off-the-wall ones that made me laugh, like the Quaaludes scene. Though Crotalus might have been thinking about the wrong movie, I agree with his point that it works as a comedy, not as any sort of drama. It’s a stoner movie in disguise.