It’s inspired memes, made people both simultaneously hate, and worship the big cats in the financial sector, shown Matthew McConaughey thumping his chest, and now is crushing it on streaming. If you haven’t gotten a chance to take in the spectacle that is The Wolf of Wall Street, now is the time to do it. That’s because Leonardo DiCaprio and company are currently crushing with the movie on streaming. It’s sitting at #3 in the United States on Hulu after only a couple of days on the streamer.
The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the Jordan Belfort memoir of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort in the stylized retelling of the latter’s climb to the top of the money-making financial sector and ultimately fall into disgrace because of his misdealings and other issues. When things kick off, Dicaprio’s Belfort is a wide-eyed stockbroker, eager to make his way in the industry on merit and honesty. He quickly comes to learn that these aren’t exactly the secrets to the stock game. Matthew McCoungahey plays Mark Hanna, a drug tooting, heavy drinking broker who “teaches” Leonardo DiCaprio the ropes in an epic scene.
Taking place in the late 1980s, Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort is involved in the Black Monday crash, loses his job, and needs to go about selling penny stocks to unsuspecting “clients”. It’s here that he recruits a rag-tag group of ne’er-do-wells masking as traders and ultimately starts his own shop, the infamous Stratton Oakmont. This becomes nothing more than a pump-and-dump scheme with the group inflating stocks to unsuspecting investors and then selling them off at a profit when the stock prices go up on the volume.
What ensues in The Wolf of Wall Street is a cautionary, though hilarious, tale in greed and excess. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect as the hard-charging Belfort, embodying nearly everything one would assume was part of the Wall Street game in the late-80s and early 90s. There are mansions, drugs, women, boats, and more debauchery than one would ever think could happen in a “respected” financial house. But that was the story of Jordan Belfort. Ultimately though, this strategy on the part of him and his firm comes crashing down in pretty epic style. Sure, the lavish lifestyle is great to watch play out, but this thing is a ticking timebomb in more ways than one. We follow DiCaprio on the rollercoaster.
In addition to Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street features an amazing cast. There is Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff, Belfort’s dweebish partner who is hilariously creepy as it gets. Then there is Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia, Belfort’s paramour and then eventual wife. Other notables include Rob Reiner as Jordan’s honest and appalled father and Jon Bernthal is a drug dealer turned broker for Stratton Oakmont. Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau, and many others are part of this star-studded cast. Some roles are bigger than others but this is a who’s who of Hollywood.
And it wasn’t just Leonardo DiCaprio’s star power that drew these names to the film. In the director’s chair was the great Martin Scorsese who helmed the Academy-nominated film. The Wolf of Wall Street was up for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter), Best Actor (DiCaprio), and Best Supporting Actor (Hill). It didn’t win any of them, but just being on the podium was a testament to how good this movie was and still is.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese didn’t just lead a critical hit either, scoring 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and 75 on Metacritic. It was a success at the box office as well. The flick took home more than $321 million on its $100 million budget. And again, it’s inspired numerous memes, mostly of DiCaprio doing crazy stuff as Belfort. In the internet age, isn’t that the real sign of success? It’s meme-worthy nature?
If you’ve never seen it or watched it a bunch of times already, there’s always a reason to check out Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. For a movie about the financial sector (kind of), it’s fast-paced, slick, quick-witted, unbelievably scripted, and has some truly head-turning performances. There’s a reason it is crushing on streaming right now. It’s just a great movie.