‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ throws political correctness right out the proverbial window

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The first thing people will tell you after they’ve seen ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is that it is about an hour too long. The second thing they’ll say will be “but, really, it’s worth sitting through the entire movie.”

Of all the films that have honed in on the happenings of the world’s most famous financial district, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ would have to be the wildest, hands down. Indeed, this movie throws social morals and political correctness right out the proverbial window, seeing them shatter so greatly, that the over-the-top antics almost need to be perceived as fictional so as not to offend.

Some ‘anti-this’ or ‘anti-that’ activists might get up in arms about particular scenes (oh, I don’t know, the ones where midgets are thrown into the bulls-eye of a giant dart-board; the one where a prostitute has cocaine snorted out of her butt-crack…) but the fact is just that: fact. These are events that actually, reportedly, happened in the life of one Jordan Belfort –Wall Street’s most unscrupulous stockbroker.

Unlike most other brokers, Belfort went on to survive the stockmarket crash of 1987, and swerved onto a path of even more decadence than he’d experienced before – copious amounts of drugs (including “morphine, simply because it’s awesome”), loads of sex (“up to five hookers a week”), and party after party (well, circus after circus, more like it) – all of this fuelled by billions of dollars laundered from businesses, big and small.

Martin Scorsese does a masterful job of turning a subject as modern and crass as commerce into something altogether epic and historical – practically biblical. The pace is lightning fast but the bottom line message is slow and torturous, for our circle of corporate con artists, at least.

Leonardo DiCaprio is so relentless in the lead role, you wonder whether he found time to breath between takes. Jonah Hills is mad as his sidekick; so mad you wonder why the guy wasn’t put away ages ago. Matthew McConaughey, as his mentor in the earlier days on the stockmarket floor, is just hilarious. And Joanna Lumley of ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ fame, plays Belfort’s aunt-through-marriage, adding a great British-inflected ‘Avengers’-meets-‘Bond’ touch to the proceedings.

Adapted for the screen by Terence Winter – the writer behind ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire’ – ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is yet another period drama that has instantly become a classic. Really, we don’t need to tell you to see it.

‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is in cinemas January 23.