The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ★★★½

Literally just finished watching out, so my thoughts are still coalescing, but:

1. Scorsese's use of pop-music cues is officially out of control. He needs an intervention.

2. Related to #1 above, his reliance on voiceover, direct address, and now telepathy (hearing what his characters are thinking) is another crutch he uses whenever the mood seems to strike him. There's no obvious rhyme or reason to how it's employed, it's just whatever.

3. I don't need any movie to have a message or a filmmaker to have a moral compass, but I did find it odd that at no time did Scorsese present us with the consequences of Jordan's actions. Even his brief prison stint seemed pleasant. The only thing I noticed in this regard was the very brief, not to mention odd, treatment of the suicide of one of Belfort's brokers. Because Scorsese chose to include that, I figured we'd see more of the same later in the film. But nope, that was it, and I found that odd.

4. DiCaprio and Hill's performances had some great moments, notably the Quaalude fight. Great physical comedy.

5. Ultimately the film felt empty and bereft of value, much like the stocks Belfort's firm was peddling. But please, don't try and argue that this was intentional and that the film itself is some meta-criticism of the emptiness of late capitalism, because that's absurd. He's been churning out this same movie ever since he hit on the formula with Goodfellas, and it plays, and he doesn't have to think to much about it, probably.

6. I wish I'd watched Mean Streets again instead. Note to self: always watch Mean Streets instead.

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