Wolf of Wall Street Howls for an Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Maura Fennelly, Co-Editor-in-Chief

 

Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in “Wolf of Wall Street” is raw, entertaining, and simply brilliant. His portrayal of self-made millionaire Jordan Belfort shows a vivid and grotesque depiction of the culture of Wall Street in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. The three-hour-long movie (originally four hours but cut down), directed by Martin Scorcese shows how one man can create such a dramatic change with the manipulation of just a few stocks.

The film begins with Belfort starting his new job on Wall Street, on his first day of work he is invited to lunch by his boss, played by Matthew McConaughey, who is incredibly wealthy and also a serious cocaine addict and alcoholic. Fired due to a poor economy, Belfort  must search for a way to make a living for his wife and himself. Taking over a small stock business in Long Island, Belfort realizes how easy it is to sell “penny stocks” to naive buyers using inaccurate data along with impeccable charm. After creating his own company with friends from his past (including stars such as Jonah Hill and The Walking Dead‘s John Bernthal), Belfort quickly gains copious amounts of cash. The businessmen pass their days on Wall Street with large amounts of drugs (namely cocaine and a retired drug called a Quaalude) and do frivolous activities (including throwing little people across the meeting room). The men also go on extravagant trips on Belfort’s yacht where they are accompanied by many female models. However, the company’s luck runs out and their acts of fraud, bribery, and corruption are discovered by law enforcement.

What makes Leonardo DiCaprio so incredible in the role is his versatility throughout the entire film. He makes the audience believe that he is Jordan Belfort going on a journey from an ordinary businessman to an uncouth and untamed millionaire. Just as he made us believe that he was an eccentric man in The Great Gatsby, stole the screen in The Titanic, and was a relentless slave owner in Django Unchained, DiCaprio tells a story of Jordan Belfort as if he is the infamous man himself.  Although he has been nominated three times in the past for an Academy Award, it is time that DiCaprio wins this year for his on point performance in Wolf of Wall Street.