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The Wolf of Wall Street

Directed by Martin Scorsese

USA, 2013

Cornerhouse, 19 January 2013

The Wolf of Wall Street

Despite the good things here, Leonardo di Caprio’s virtuoso performance above all, it simply moves at too slow a pace.

Many of Scorsese’s familiar stylistic devices are present – the main character speaking directly to camera, sweeping camera movements with accompanying voiceover, etc. – but there’s no real zip to it.  The story is predictable, all about a man’s rise and fall, his sin and redemption.  And it feels baggy and overlong.  So a middling effort, disappointing fare.

With the final scenes you get a sense of the kind of film it might have been: a parable of the talents, contrasting a man (Belfort) who succumbs to the sins of the world yet changes others’ lives and another, an FBI agent who always plays by the rules and whose life is (perhaps, we really don’t know enough) pretty impoverished.  But the FBI agent (played by the fine Kyle Chandler) has been, at best, a minor character and this isn’t the film you’ve seen.