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Preview: The Wolf of Wall Street

Jack Evans looks ahead to the much-anticpated return of the Scorcese-DiCaprio duo

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Christmas is Oscar season at the movies, so most big studios, directors and actors set out their stall. Following from 2006’s The Departed (remake of Hong Kong’s Infernal Affairs), which won four Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Actor, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio are back together in the upcoming Oscar-bait The Wolf of Wall Street.

Martin Scorsese is back with his new darling Leonardo DiCaprio for the adaptation of the memoirs of Jordan Belfort, a convicted stock manipulator turned motivational speaker and author. The film is a black comedy focusing on his time running a “pump and dump” scheme (artificially inflating prices then selling in large quantities). Basically the lead is a crook and the joke is that we all know how this will end. The appeal of these types of film is the act of living vicariously through the anti-hero and, with a lead of DiCaprio’s charisma, probably rooting for them in the process. Despite Gordon Gecko being the villain in 1987’s Wall Street, many investment bankers took his rousing speeches and slick image as inspiration for their career choices, despite the man breaking the law!

So is this film just another spiritual Wall Street sequel? I’d hazard to say the contrary, as Scorsese, and his editor-in-arms Thelma Schoonmaker, usually have a more dark comedic streak in their films. Wall Street set out to say the opposite to its famous maxim of “Greed is Good” and failed to convey that effectively. The Wolf of Wall Street looks set to revel in the moment, savouring the thrill of making a million dollars a week before the inevitable fall from grace. It seems as though Scorsese is setting out not to make a serious critique of the greed and temptation of the financial sector, but rather another gangster-esque romp through colourful characters skirting the long arm of the law.

So colour me excited. Scorsese makes consistently above-average films, DiCaprio is fast becoming one of the best working actors and Matthew McConaughey seems to be making good film choices finally after the critically acclaimed Mud and Magic Mike. Will this win Oscars? Probably not, it’s a comedy, but it’ll be worth the ticket price.

 

Release Date: 17th January