With a charismatically decadent Leonardo DiCaprio going at full throttle in the central role, Martin Scorsese’s giddy biopic of stockbroker swindler Jordan Belfort has all the dazzle and pizzazz of his classic gangster movies – only this time the crooks on screen are pumping and dumping worthless stocks rather than bodies. It’s exhilarating to watch.
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Scorsese brings a darkly comic brio to the scenes of coke-snorting, hooker-consorting, dwarf-throwing excess; DiCaprio unexpectedly proves to be a brilliant physical comedian (the hands-down hilarious scene in which the drug-addled, physically wasted Belfort attempts to open the door of his Lamborghini with his foot will leave you equally helpless with laughter); and the supporting performances from the likes of Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and, yes, Joanna Lumley have real fizz. Yet the film’s sneaking admiration for its despicable anti-hero does leave a nasty aftertaste.
Certificate 18. Runtime 172 mins. Director Martin Scorsese.
Released on Blu-ray and DVD by Universal Pictures.
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