A bit of Pun Salad trivia: watching this movie means I watched all
nine nominees for the Best Picture Oscar for the past year. (Haven't
managed to do that since 2010.) The IMDB
raters have it (as I type) at #124 on the best 250
movies of all time! I don't know about that, but it
was pretty good. Mr. Martin Scorcese directed, and I doubt if
he remembers how to make anything other than a good movie.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, and this is the story of
his rise and fall in the corrupt world of Wall Street. He breaks
in as a lowly phone salesman in a "respectable" (but, in fact,
not very respectable) brokerage. And he does OK until the 1987
market crash wipes him and his firm out. Then it's over to an extremely
disreputable penny-stock operation, strictly in business to
transfer money from gullible customers into brokers' pockets.
Belfort is a master salesman, a charismatic leader, and his appetite
for money is unbounded.
strikes out on his own, playing the same sleazy game with a more upscale
Also unbounded: Belfort's appetite for sex and drugs. One wonders
how all his money didn't wind up in the hands of pushers and pimps,
but somehow he had plenty left over for a mansion, a Ferrari, a yacht,
and a copter and … well, every crass symbol of multimillionairedom
you can think of. And who knows how long he could have kept it up,
because the SEC was blind to his misdeeds. But there's FBI
Straight Arrow Agent Patrick Denham (played by the canonical
Straight Arrow, Kyle Chandler) standing in his way.
(There are a bunch of great actors here in addition to DiCaprio
and Chandler. Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, etc.
I didn't recognize Christine Ebersole until I saw her name in
the credits, then zipped back to one of her scenes. "Oh, yeah.")
The movie is (whoa) three hours long, and probably could have used some
judicious cutting. The rating is R, and the MPAA reasons are: "sequences
of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language
throughout, and for some violence." If anything, that's understated.
You have never seen such over-the-top debauchery and graphic
of course, you get invited to Hollywood parties).
It's also extremely funny. This is probably why it didn't win
True fact: after his prison stint, the real-world
Belfort is still around, giving presentations ("Learn The
Truth Behind Jordan Belfort's Business & Wealth Success")
and you can shell out up to $1999 (at the door) for the "Platinum
Experience". But if you're the type of person who would even
think of doing that, I think you are not the type of person
who would be reading this.