It's absolutely amazing to me that a 71-year-old film-maker is still capable of creating great and relevant movies, with just as much passion, dedication and eye for detail as over 30 years ago. This maybe isn't Scorsese's best movie but it definitely is the best one he has done in a while, in my opinion.
It's actually hard to say what makes "The Wolf of Wall Street" such a great movie, since it really isn't a very typical or conventional movie, with a clear beginning, middle and end to it. You can say the movie is all highlights, that doesn't ever slow down and keeps taking its story and characters into new and interesting directions.
Because there constantly is so much happening and developing, it also does feel like a complicated and hard to follow movie at times but none of this becomes much of an issue, due to the actual way how its story gets told. It's really more or a comedy and entertaining movie than a serious drama really, despite its serious themes. It's maybe even the most amusing movie Scorsese has ever done to this date (no, I'm not a too big fan of "The King of Comedy"). I laughed quite a lot throughout the movie.
It's also an incredibly energetic movie. It truly takes you into the mind and life of its main character, who is living a fast life and is only interested in 3 things; Make money, make more money and make even more money, no matter how or what the consequences may be. It definitely makes this movie relevant in this day and age, even though the movie itself is mostly taking place in the 1990's.
What the movie also does extremely well is remaining neutral. It doesn't condone or glorifies anything or anyone. The movie doesn't ever tell you how you should feel or what to think of a certain person. It instead just tells you the story and lets you make up your own mind about things. It's just as OK to hate and condone Jordan Belfort and his actions as it is to love and admire him.
Big kudos to Leonardo DiCaprio for that as well of course. In essence he plays a very despicable character but it's still easy to get behind him and you want to see him eventually end up well too. It's definitely one of his best performances to date and hopefully he'll finally get his long deserved Oscar this year. But I have to say that I was just as much- and perhaps even more, impressed and surprised with Jonah Hill's performance. It's also good and fun to see how even the smallest parts in this movie are being played by some well known and respected actors. It adds a lot to the quality and class of the movie and never works out as anything distracting, which is a real accomplishment as well.
This truly is one great looking, well told and directed movie, with some fine performances by all of its actors. I can't recommend this movie enough and it's my personal favorite of the year.