Reviewed by Allison Fuerst. Viewed on DVD.
From the moment Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) introduces Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) to the luxuriously reckless lifestyle of a Wall Street stockbroker, viewers can’t help but enjoy the ride as he gives in to his zealous temptations and is induced into the life of excessive drug abuse and enticingly scandalous affairs.
Along with his partner in crime, Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), Belfort ravenously dives deeper into the clutch of self-destruction eventually loosing sight of any core values and meaning in life. Believing in his own invincibility, the egotistic penny stockbroker’s refusal to relinquish his erratic behavior ultimately leads to his downward demise. He even attempts to bribe cops reflecting is inability to recognize the consequences involved with negligent decisions.
Set in the 1980s, director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Terrence Winter elegantly infuse the genres of crime, comedy and drama allowing greater appeal for a wide variety of audiences. Similar to that of his masterpiece Goodfellas, Scorsese does not hold back on violence, drug abuse, nudity and language further helping to convey the raw behavior of a raunchy industry. After a hard day’s worth of
Reviewed by Daniel Chein. Viewed at SBIFF.
Something that I really appreciate about the Santa Barbara International Film Festival programming is its commitment to acquiring films from underrepresented filmmaking communities around the world. With designated series for Jewish (Kolnoa), Latin and Eastern Bloc productions being featured next to films from the US, Western Europe and Asia, audiences have the opportunity to see films from filmmakers that would otherwise remain unheard of. Furthermore, programming a series as opposed to a single film allows viewers to compare different styles produced in the same region, debunking conceptions that all French films are like this or all Indian films are like that.
One film that I found totally hilarious was Adria Blues by Miroslav Mandic. The film is about an old rock star, appropriately named Tony Riff (Senad Basic) who is having trouble reintegrating into society after the Bosnian War. He has lost all interest and creativity in his music, and instead is supported by his wife Sonja (Mojca Funkl) who works as a call-girl to make ends meet. He hates that his wife has