“This right here is the land of opportunity. This is America. This is my home! The show goes on!”
– Jordan Belfort
Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young and idealistic man with big dreams for his future and to make money, and establishes himself as a stockbroker at a frim on Wall Street. His lifestyle and what he thought he knew is drastically changed when Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) tells him what he should expect, and that sex and drugs are what will keep him going, and that making the clients’ money is not the name of the game. However, when Black Monday rolls around, Jordan finds himself without a job. When he is ready to give up, his wife Teresa Petrillo (Cristin Milioti) spots an ad in the paper for a company that is actually hiring stock brokers. Jordan goes for an interview, and after what he is used to on Wall Street is shocked to find a dilapidated old building with a bunch of rejects trading penny stocks.
Desperate for work, Jordan takes it and makes a fortune trading the penny stocks. Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) approaches Jordan one day seeing as they live in the same apartment building. He cannot believe that Jordan makes the money he claims he does, but quits his job immediately to come and work for Jordan when he is shown a payslip indicating what Jordan earns. The two branch off and open up their own firm, and Jordan calls in his pot dealer friends to run it – Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal), Chester Ming (Kenneth Choi), Nicky “Rugrat” Koskoff (P. J. Byrne) and Alden “Sea Otter” Kupferberg (Henry Zebrowski). They come in and start making a lot of money on the penny stocks, and soon Jordan changes the name of the game. He calls the firm Stratton Oakmont, and they are going for the big fish now, selling off stock that people will recognise but making a fortune on the penny stock just under that. The company rapidly expands and becomes a billion-dollar company, with plenty of employees from whom he has garnered much respect and reverence.
Jordan is living the life of a rockstar – sex, drugs, money, prostitutes and endless entertainment is the name of the game. Jordan’s parents, “Mad” Max (Rob Reiner) and Leah (Christine Ebersole) are brought in to deal with the finances. Jordan’s marriage with Teresa collapses when he falls in love with Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie). Jordan is addicted to all sorts of drugs and sleeping with numerous women. The marriage was doomed. Jordan and Naomi get married, and their new life together is supposed to be a glorious affair for a while. They even have a daughter named Skylet together. The FBI, meanwhile, has started looking into the dealings at Stratton Oakmont, and is headed up by agent Denham (Kyle Chandler). The investigation continues and gains heat and momentum, and it is becoming more and more difficult for Jordan to hide the things that are going on in his firm, and things get back when Donnie and Brad get into a huge fight, and Brad gets locked up. Jordan is worried seeing as Brad has been helping smuggle his millions of dollars into Switzerland so that the FBI will not be able to track and/or seize it. As if matters are not bad enough, Jordan learns through his private investigator that the FBI has bugged his phones. Max tries to get Jordan to step down from Stratton Oakmont and take a deal, though Jordan refuses.
With everything that is heating up, will Jordan be able to continue running the massive scams he is? Will Jordan be able to keep his money hidden and out of the eyes of the FBI? Will Jordan have to sit down and speak to the feds, making a deal with them and stick to it? If presented with such an offer, would he even take it? Will Jordan be able to go straight, both in terms of the business that he runs as well as with his drink and drugs? Will his company eventually collapse, be taken down in a brutal and thorough investigation? Will Jordan and Naomi be able to stay strong through whatever may come?
A 9/10 for The Wolf of Wall Street. I went in with really high expectations and will not even kid around – they were met to the extremes. I have been waiting for this movie forever, and made sure that I got to it this weekend. Leonardo DiCaprio just waltzed in and stole the show again, giving a hell of a performance as Jordan Belfort. He had no scruples, he had no boundaries, he did not care and embraced a dark and gritty, money-filled life and ran with it. Everything about the young man he was got lost, and so quickly, when he got onto Wall Street. His new life of drink, drugs and sex took over, and he had standards to maintain. DiCaprio plays Belfort with a specified flair, which is nothing short of what I had expected him to do. Jonah Hill gave a solid performance as Donnie, and he really was gross and disgusting but clever. I can see now why people have praised his performance. Seeing how everyone plays on Wall Street was a reward unto itself, and Scorsese was just amazing bringing the life and the feeling of everything to the screen. The soundtrack was fitting, the camera work amazing, everything came together so well! For a three hour movie it certainly zips by, keeping you hooked to the story and progression without an issue! You know you are going to get something beautiful when he and DiCaprio pull things together. I know that there were people that had moaned about the nudity and the swearing in this film, but trust me, it doesn’t detract from the viewing experience. It didn’t phase me in the least, though I know it is bound to make some uncomfortable. I really wish that this would be DiCaprio’s Oscar year, he really does deserve one. I laughed a hell of a lot in this movie, just at how ridiculous and ludicrous some of the things that they were doing were, how they just got away with things, how these people lived their lives and the things that they did. It’s disgusting and reprehensible, and nothing about Jordan Belfort says that he was sorry, though it is an interesting look back over the experiences he had. Overall it was a hell of a good watch and something that I would recommend going to see. Definitely my movie of 2013!