ARTS ISSUE: ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ Scorsese focus on real-life lavishness


In “The Wolf of Wall Street,” yachts, girls and Ferraris are abundant. Wall Street has always been home to excess, and director Martin Scorsese hones in on that extravagance, which looks to be the prime focus of his most recent film.

If the power suit and tie and the beautifully positioned Jaguar in the opening scene of the trailer do not make it clear, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) is an important player on the Wall Street trading floor. “I was making so much money, I didn’t know what to do with it,” Belfort narrates in the trailer. From consuming $26,000 dinners to throwing $100 bills into a trash can, Belfort’s extravagance is unmatched.

DiCaprio is known for immersing himself in the roles he plays. In every shot of “Wolf’s” trailer, Scorsese showcases a manic DiCaprio, who fills the room with his energy. The degree to which he portrays Belfort’s cunning charm and conceited scumbag mentality seems to put him in good shape for an Oscar nomination.

Every exuberant lead must have a decent supporting cast, which is where Jonah Hill comes into play. Hill is hilarious and generates great chemistry with DiCaprio, complementing his exaggerated personality. Despite his comedic role in the film, Hill is able to morph into a serious money-driven stockbroker who doesn’t shy away from the occasional designer sweater — a personality Hill has not played before. His performance could open many doors for his career. And for the brief moment the audience glimpses Matthew McConaughey, he seems to be successfully delving into the comedic mode.


Scorsese emphasizes the level of luxury Belfort and his associates can afford with his use of designer suits, elaborate location shots and, of course, girls with money duct-taped to their bodies. As with any Scorsese film, one can expect unmotivated camera movement and fast cutting. With the “Wolf” trailer, Scorsese has already his used zooms and editing to show the escalation of lavishness in the fast-paced lifestyle shown in each frame.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 5 print edition. Mohamed Hassan is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]



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