Thursday, January 2, 2014

Patsy and the Wolf

by Pa Rock
Film Fan

Yesterday I gave three hours of my ever-decreasing time on Earth to viewing Martin Scorsese’s new film, The Wolf of Wall Street.  It wasn’t completely god-awful, but surely director Scorsese could have cut an hour (any hour) from the epic infomercial and had a better product.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, the two leads in the film, each turned in exceptional performances, and Matthew McConaughey, though having only a small part, also nailed his role – and nailed it hard.  There were some funny lines, but clearly not enough humor (or anything else) to justify two hours and fifty-nine minutes of sitting in a darkened theatre.  Instead of being an enjoyable experience, it was more like being trapped in a room full of rabid and foul-mouthed car salesmen. 

(A person who takes offense at the gratuitous use of the f-word in its many forms and tenses should plan on being offended a minimum of seven or eight hundred times during the course of this movie.  Likewise, those who disapprove of the serial sexual exploitation of women will also have issues with The Wolf of Wall Street.)

The highlight (yes, there was a highlight) of the movie was the appearance of Aunt Emma, wonderfully portrayed by British actress, Joanna Lumley.  When Miss Lumley (Patsy of Absolutely Fabulous) made her entrance, I felt like an old friend had suddenly shown up to rescue me from the onslaught of yelling, profanity, porn, and violence.   Her appearance was a reprieve that helped to make the experience bearable.  The scene where she and the much younger DiCaprio discuss moving his cash illegally to Switzerland – and then he kisses her, right on the mouth – is one of the most captivating of the whole movie.

The Wolf of Wall Street is supposedly a true story - an autobiographical tale of one man’s rise from a modest background to a wildly successful business career as a shady stockbroker and motivator.  (Successful if one uses money as the only gauge of success.)  He burns through money, drugs, property, and women with total abandon and always comes out fighting for more.  The Wolf’s ultimate triumph is to sell the rights to his book and life to Martin Scorsese for a three-hour film.

Hey Marty, there’s one born every minute!

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