The Wolf of Wall Street: What You Need To Know
Despite its lead actor missing out once again at the Oscars, Martin Scorsese’s film based on the memoirs of Jordan Belfort outperformed its Acedemy Award rivals at the Box Office, raking in northwards of $380 million worldwide, a fact which makes it the ninth-biggest grossing 18 certificate film of all time.
Next week the film is finally hitting the shelves in the UK on Blu-Ray & DVD. Here’s everything you need to know…
Who’s in it?
The Wolf of Wall Street stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, with Jonah Hill putting in a stellar co-starring performance as Belfort’s friend and business partner Donnie Azoff. The film also stars former Neighbours actress Margot Robbie as Belfort’s second wife Naomi, as well as Kyle Chandler who plays FBI agent Patrick Denham and national treasure Joanna Lumley, who almost steals in the show in her cameo appearance as Naomi’s English aunt. There’s also a brilliant cameo near the beginning from Matthew McConaughey as Wall St. trader Mark Hanna, and a great performance from Rob Reiner as Belfort’s long-suffering father, Max.
What’s the plot?
As far as a first day in a new job goes, Jordan Belfort’s maiden visit to his new job as a Wall Street trader couldn’t have been much worse – it just so happens to have been on October 19 1987 – more commonly known as Black Friday. Share prices fall through the floor and Jordan immediately loses his new job.
He starts over at a low-rent establishment dealing in penny stocks and quickly excels at the job, where he realises that despite the lower salaries on offer he can earn as much as 50% of each deal in commission. He meets Donnie in a bar and before long the pair are smoking a crack pipe and hatching a plan to create their own company, Stratton Oakmont. From this point on, drugs become a key feature in Jordan’s life and he soon falls for a blonde called Naomi, being ditched by his wife when she discovers their affair.
Jordan and Donnie hire a bunch of shady miscreants to staff their company and Jordan promises that if they follow his instructions to the letter he will make them all millionaires. They then embark on one of the largest securities trading scams of the 1990s, including as part of its fraudulent web of dodgy deals the initial stock market floatation of designer Steve Madden’s shoe company. What ensues is an international game of cat and mouse with the FBI that sees Jordan and all the extended members of his friends and family group – including Naomi’s aunt – smuggling large quantities of untaxed cash into numbered bank accounts in Switzerland.
Does it deliver?
Make no mistake about it, this film is a riot. Right from the opening scene which features Stratton Oakmont’s employees hurling a dwarf across the office in a game of human darts, this film steams its way through just under 3 hours of debauchery that are a blizzard of drugs, sex and dirty money. Some may find it difficult to stomach a film that, for the first half at least, appears to glamourise the kind of outrageous behaviour that brought the global economy to its knees in recent years. But be assured that things do not end well for Belfort and Co., and The Wolf of Wall Street is perhaps the best we’ve seen from the ongoing partnership between director Scorsese and Leo DiCaprio. It’s also the funniest film Scorsese has made in years and Jonah Hill is a real surprise package in his role as Donnie, proving he has a lot more to offer.
The Wolf of Wall Street is available on Blu-Ray and DVD in hmv stores from Monday May 19