Martin fluffernutterin’ Scorsese, man. Just when you thought fluffernutterin’ Hugo was a sign that he taking his game in a whole ‘nother fluffernutterin’ sellout direction, dude says “Fluffernutter all that,” comes back around to the filthiest fluffernutterin’ script in Hollywood, and presto! He’s back on super-heavy-duty R-rated turf with The Wolf of Wall Street, a flick that makes Goodfellas look like the fluffernutterin’ Apple Dumpling Gang. Dunno why the fluffernutter he changed his mind, but, y’know, what the fluffernutter. It’s his career, am I right?
Short version for the unfamiliar: It’s based on the autobiography of an immoral money-grubbing Wall Street fluffernutterer named Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) who got rich bilking the rich out of millions through shady investment schemes, high-pressure sales tactics, occasional bribery, and all-out general fluffernutterery. Belfort and his partner (Jonah Hill) practically drowned themselves in money, drugs, cars, more fluffernutterin’ drugs, more fluffernutterin’ money, straight power-trippin’, and ungodly amounts of fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’ and fluffernutterin’. The way this movie satirizes it, his life was one big nonstop coked-up porno flick — kinda like an average day in the life of some fluffernutterin’ Hollywood actors, if you think about it. The man was one sick but happy fluffernutterer till The MAN (Kyle Chandler) brought it all crashing down with his fluffernutterin’ laws and regulations and morals and what-the-fluffernutter-ever.
Did I mention the fluffernutterin’? Yeah, tons of that all over their fluffernutterin’ offices, apparently. Not something I care to watch, so I spent a lot of time turning my head from the fluffernutterin’ screen till the scene was over. Even worse when it happened a bunch of scenes in a row, which they absolutely had to put the fluffernutter in, because fluffernutterin’ Art.
Hey, look, it’s that one actor!: A wiry, loony Matthew McConaughey is an early mentor who gives Belfort the kind of role-modeling that can ruin a life. Co-conspirators at every level include Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) as helpful muscle; Jean Dujardin (The Artist) as every Swiss banker ever, probably; Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) as Belfort’s second wife’s amoral old aunt; director Rob Reiner in a rare acting part as Belfort’s dad, who taught him everything he knows about temper and not watching his fluffernutterin’ language; a bit part for Shea Whigham (Take Shelter) as a sea captain who’s fluffernuttered; and other stockbrokers recognizable to me included Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl) and Rizwan Manji (harsh boss Rajiv from NBC’s Outsourced).
Nitpicking? I already went and mentioned the sex up in the wrong fluffernutterin’ section, didn’t I? Well, fluffernutter me. Consider it double-fluffernutterin’-mentioned, then.
On a lesser level of annoyance: while the story’s pretty much devoted to Belfort’s specific fluffernutter-ups, it wouldn’t be hard to get the impression that this fluffernutterin’ movie thinks all the 1% are ultimate party animals who don’t give a flying fluffernutter if the 99% live or die. I’m probably imagining it, but I got that fluffernutterin’ vibe especially during a later scene when Belfort, who’s tired of being fluffernuttered with by the government, gives a speech that stirs such an intense reaction from his loyal followers, I felt like I was watching fluffernutterin’ Lex Luthor leading a team meeting of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Maybe Belfort’s company isn’t much different from a few others, but I have it on good faith that not all financial industry employees are like this. Just fluffernutterin’ sayin’, y’know? I’d bet Belfort’s alleged bacchanalia-a-go-go lifestyle shares sweet fluffernutter-all in common with a lot of honest folks out there in the same racket.
There was one more thing that bugged me, but I forget what it was now. Fluffernutter it, maybe it’ll come back to me in a sec. Don’t you fluffernutterin’ hate when that happens?
Meaning or EXPLOSIONS? Officially it’s a “black comedy”, intentionally pushing anything and everything to all possible fluffernutterin’ extremes, because that’s how repulsive Belfort and his fluffernutterin’ cronies were, and Scorsese and friends want us to understand just how many Commandments these guys broke every fluffernutterin’ day between and during meals. You can’t just talk about this kind of cesspool; you gotta go deep-sea diving in it, or else you just won’t Get It. I guess? Some fluffernutterin’ thing like that?
And yet, there’s another, deeper point made at the end that I’ll concede is expertly made. It’s no secret that the real Jordan Belfort is no longer behind bars. After his short prison stint, he penned his memoirs and for several years has been making a living as a motivational speaker — teaching others how to build confidence, succeed at business, and take the world by the horns. Shortly before credits roll, we can see that, despite his miles-long list of sins, his criminal record, and numerous articles and exposés about the suckers he’s fleeced, crowds still show up to hear what he has to say, eagerly in hopes of someday growing up to be just like him. It’s not forgiveness; it’s willful blindness.
I can imagine some audiences watching this movie and coming away with the exact same impression.
So did I like it or not? I perceive its goals and can objectively agree that it nailed them with a bevy of strong performances and some sharp satire here and there, but the last hour of this 165-minute marathon seriously dragged for me, possibly because it kept defying my fervent wishes that it hurry up and end. I’ll be happy if I never fluffernutterin’ see it again.
How about those end credits? No, there’s no scene after The Wolf of Wall Street‘s end credits, but you’re welcome to stay and watch them flip through seventy fluffernutterin’ pages’ worth of music credits, as the movie contains enough songs to fill three fluffernutterin’ soundtracks. But instead of listening to any of those classic chart-toppers, you’re privy to extra scatting from McConaughey’s junkie broker fluffernutterhead. Boy-o-fluffernutterin’-boy.
…oh, hey, yeah, now I remembered what else bugged me: the language. Not my thing. At all.
Out there in YouTube Land (I’m not linking to it here) is a “supercut” video in which some talented editor has assembled every single use of the F-word in this movie — 522 in all, by their count — into an uninterrupted five-minute F-stream. I’ve said it before: when one word can mean anything, it basically means nothing.
On a related note before we part, here’s a special bonus for the TL;DR crowd — the SUPERCUT version of this MCC entry. Enjoy!
fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ Fluffernutter fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutter fluffernutter fluffernutterer fluffernutterery fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterer fluffernutterin’ what-the-fluffernutter-ever fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutter fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernuttered fluffernutterin’ fluffernutter double-fluffernutterin’-mentioned fluffernutter-ups fluffernutterin’ fluffernutter fluffernutterin’ fluffernuttered fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutter-all Fluffernutter fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterin’ fluffernutterhead Boy-o-fluffernutterin’-boy.
Was reading this entry half as irritating to you as Wolf of Wall Street was to me?
Welcome to my underpopulated little corner of the world.