Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
Martin Scorsese is no stranger to the Best Picture category and with “The Wolf Of Wall Street” becoming one of his best films in an illustrious career, it’s no question that it deserves all the recognition that it’s receiving. Yes, the film is not about nice people and most of the main characters are borderline evil, but the way these things are presented in a humorous and outrageous way brings to life a world of mockery that is not often seen in film-making. At a brisk 3 hour long run-time, there’s not a moment I could imagine cutting from to make it shorter. Although the controversy around the nature of the film did not help its chances in the Best Picture category, “Wolf Of Wall Street” falls outside the competition between the three frontrunners by a hair, and although Scorsese captures a Best Directing nomination, there’s no way this film can pull off a win.
Nominated Role: Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a successful stockbroker who becomes involved in a fraudulent securities exchange deal.
Ever since the accidental release of the Oscar statue with Leonardo DiCaprio’s name on it went through all the media outlets, with outrage at the spoilers which weren’t actually spoilers (ever nominee gets their name plaqued on the statues), DiCaprio has gotten some attention his way, finally making Matthew McConaughey’s star falter for just a moment. People started to wonder what it would be like to have DiCaprio finally win an Oscar after four nominations (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993), “”The Aviator” (2004), and “Blood Diamond” (2006)), especially with this being one of his best performances of his career as the eccentric stockbroker with a wild side. The man has clearly deserved an Oscar for quite sometime now and this would be the perfect role to honor him for. Unfortunately, it appears to be Matthew McConaughey’s time and as I heard stated by a radio personality, his stint on “True Detective” at the moment is like a weekly commercial advertising how much he deserves the Oscar. DiCaprio may not be able to compete. However, if there’s going to be a dark horse upset, I’d place my money on this one, even though I also believe Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves this award even more so. DiCaprio is a great actor, we all know that, and being somewhat of a young man still, we’ll still get to see him in plenty of films to come.
Nominated Role: Jonah Hill plays Donnie Azoff, the partner of a stockbroker engaged in a far-reaching securities fraud.
Starting out in comedies like “Superbad” with Judd Apatow, no one suspected Jonah Hill would land in to the Hollywood world of the Oscars, in the spotlight of the Academy on more than one occasion. Performing across from Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” (2012), earned him his first surprise nomination and now with the help of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, he receives his second as the bright smiled, crazy man Donnie Azoff. Hill is great in the role, bringing the comedy background to the forefront in many of the scenes. His accent and demeanor fit the film perfectly and he really does earn his spot next to the other talented men in this category. Unfortunately for Hill, this category is stacked with impressive performances and I suspect Jared Leto has a lock on this award with Michael Fassbender not too far behind. But to see Hill make the jump from lesser known comedies, even recently, to big award worthy movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” is very impressive to me and hopefully he continues on with this Oscar streak that he has going.
For the eighth time in the Academy Awards history, Martin Scorsese finds himself nominated for Best Directing. Winning only for “The Departed” in 2006, Marty has been honored by the Academy previously, making his chances of winning slightly less as he doesn’t fall into the category of deserving to finally win one. There’s two people that do fall into the category this year and somewhat early on in their careers with Alfonso Cuaron and Steve McQueen, as one of these men will be taking home the gold. But Martin Scorsese not only brings his massive film to the Best Picture category but helps two of his actors score acting nominations. Scorsese’s collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio brings out the best in both men and even though Scorsese will not being winning this year, I cannot wait to see what he comes out with next.
Written by Terence Winter
“The Wolf Of Wall Street” is a wild and crazy ride of a film, mixing in comedy with high concept antics mixed with a big helping of “based on a true story” about the true to life Jordan Belfort. Terence Winter keeps the film grounded despite its lack of realistic nature in and of itself. One thing Winter knocks out of the park is getting people to enjoy watching Jordan and his team of misfits as they settle into their lives of debauchery around every corner. We could easily hate these men and hate every moment of watching them waste money and push those closest to them away. But we watch them in awe and continue watching them for three hours, hardly being able to look away. And that’s a feat. To make unlikable characters fun to watch is an art form and something continues to be achieved with every television show like “House” and “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad” where the leading characters are for better part of the word, villains, portrayed as the protagonists of the story. Yet we latch on and even laugh at their debauchery. Terence Winter will likely not win against John Ridley and “12 Years A Slave” but Winter nabs his first nomination from the screenplay.
// Produced by Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland and Emma Tillinger Koskoff //
// Directed by Martin Scorsese //
// Dated Viewed: Friday, February 28th, 2014 // SCREENER // 2 films – 3 days //