Film Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013; Directed by Martin Scorsese)

Gleeful, impassioned, amoral, and at the very least a full hour too long, Martin Scorsese’s uncompromising and divisive film adaptation of the largely unapologetic memoir of an irresistible Wall Street opportunist’s meteoric rise and dramatic fall demands full attention. It’s a rudely, scabrously hilarious satire with the overflowing baccanalian excess of a farce that many critics who really ought to know better took at face value. Deride The Wolf of Wall Street for glorifying its characters’ base choices if you will, but this is a movie that presents its moral horrors without patronizing judgments. It employs scathing clarity rather than stern indictments, and if viewers make up their minds to consider the exploits of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) to be heroic rather than deplorable, then that’s more of a damning statement of their own perspective than of Scorsese’s failure to…

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