So, I found myself talking The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) a couple of nights back and it turns out that one of the scenes that really stuck with me (and, despite it’s flaws, many do) features a female employee having her head shaved for cash. With the general commotion and marching band etc what springs to mind is a European town liberated by the Allies and the public shaming of a collaborator which again complicates what this film thinks of women…
…but this complication might actually have a rather simple answer. Just as the film doesn’t seem to know what to actually make of it’s central character, I don’t think much consideration has been given to any of the stuff thrown up on screen.
With Goodfellas, Scorsese not only made one of the great genre pictures of all time but also a pitch perfect indictment of the ‘American Dream’ and no holds barred capitalism which leaves The Wolf of Wall Street feeling slightly reheated, especially when many scenes and arcs parallel the earlier film. What the latter film effectively does is make the implied message literal which, well, you know.
But that’s not to say that it’s not a ‘good’ film because the 180 minutes went by quickly enough and it is funny throughout. It also boasts a bevy of very strong performances (although McConaughey is so good in his brief appearance that you really miss him in the following 170 minutes) and, obviously, Scorsese knows what to do with a camera.
File under ‘Scorsese having a good time’. Still kicking after all these years and that makes me smile the same guilty smile I made when I watched the Farrelly’s The Three Stooges movie; another movie that I wont be revisiting any time soon.