Here’s a great shot of Leonardo DiCaprio at the Golden Globes as Lady Gaga walks by to accept her award . . .
Say this for director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: he does not make things easy for the audience. He staged the full length of “Birdman” to look like one long, glorious take, and challenged the audience to decipher which bits were fantasy and which were reality. “Babel” put us face-to-face with a sexually confused and oft-naked Japanese teenaged girl. “21 Grams” forced the world to imagine receiving the news that your entire family has been killed in a car accident, and then discovering that your new lover has your deceased husband’s heart inside of him. With “The Revenant,” he ups the squirm factor tenfold, but is careful to balance the film’s savagery – and make no mistake, this is one savage movie – with the most beautiful cinematography you’ll see all year. “Wow, that was one of the bloodiest things I’ve ever…ooh look, pretty mountains!” They’re palate cleansers, so you’re not tasting blood in your mouth for the entire film. Smart, and essential.
It is the 1820s, and a group of New World settlers and hired-gun Englishmen are on a fur-trapping expedition in God’s country. The group is besieged by a Native American tribe hell-bent on retrieving a young woman taken from them by one of the light-skinned invaders. (At this point in time, it was either the English or the French.) Captain Andrew Henry (Domhall Gleeson) looks to master tracker Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) to lead the way, but there is doubt among the surviving group, chief among them professional soldier John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), whether Glass can be trusted after miraculously escaping an impossible situation unscathed. Hugh also has a teenaged son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), whose late mother is of the Pawnee tribe. That doesn’t sit well with some of the white people.
In giving “The Wolf of Wall Street” an excellent review, our own Jason Zingale described it as “loud, flashy and totally obscene.” You can get a glimpse of what to expect with this new red band clip courtesy of Paramount. Here we have Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, arguing with his new trophy wife, played by the stunning Margot Robbie who should be on her way to becoming a star. This gorgeous blonde bombshell sizzles next to DiCaprio in this film as you can see in this clip and from the photos above. We’re pretty confident you’ll be seeing much more of her in the years to come.
Photos by Mary Cybulski courtesy of Paramount Pictures
It’s been a while since Martin Scorsese’s last truly great film, but it’s good to see that the director hasn’t lost his touch, because “The Wolf of Wall Street” is another cinematic triumph that works almost like a companion piece, at least thematically, to earlier movies like “Goodfellas” and “Casino.” But while those crime films were about actual gangsters, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is about a different kind of criminal altogether: a Gordon Gekko-like stockbroker whose own greed and hard-partying lifestyle ultimately led to his downfall. The fact that it’s based on a true story only makes it that much more captivating to watch unfold, and between Leonardo DiCaprio’s brilliant lead performance and Terrence Winter’s excellent script, it’s without a doubt the funniest movie that Scorsese has ever directed.
The film opens in 1987 as go-getter Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) moves to New York City with his wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) to pursue his dream of working on Wall Street. When the market crashes shortly after starting his new job at a big firm, however, Jordan accepts what appears to be a lowly position selling penny stocks at a strip-mall storefront. But he soon discovers that he can make big bucks selling desperate, blue-collar workers on the promise of instant riches, eventually leaving the company to open his own firm with friend and business partner Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill). Before long, the newly dubbed Stratton Oakmont is selling those very same penny stocks to the wealthy, turning Jordan and his closest pals into millionaires virtually overnight. Living the high life with a gorgeous new wife (Margot Robbie), more money than he knows what to do with, and enough drugs to tranquilize an entire zoo, Jordan feels invincible – that is, until he catches wind that the FBI has launched an investigation into the firm (and him in particular) for stock market manipulation and other related crimes.
Baz Luhrmann was born to make “The Great Gatsby.” Dazzling excess, star-crossed lovers, and tragedy are the cornerstones to nearly every movie he’s ever made, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel has all three in abundance, wrapped in a searing indictment of the pursuit of wealth. All four of those elements of the story are on full display here, but there’s something missing in the execution. For a story with so much passion and longing and regret, it’s surprisingly bloodless. This is not to say that Luhrmann doesn’t hit the emotional buttons; he just doesn’t hit them hard enough. Then again, that may not be Luhrmann’s fault at all, but the source material. A bunch of clueless people ruining their lives by making bad decision after bad decision; it’s like a Mike Leigh movie, with money.
Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is in a sanitarium for a laundry list of conditions (top of the list: morbid alcoholism), and soon begins telling his shrink about the summer of 1922. Nick had taken a job as a bond salesman during the Roaring Twenties, and found a small cottage in the village of West Egg, where he lived next to new-money millionaires. Nick’s cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) lives across the bay from her, and is (unhappily) married to old-money millionaire and unfaithful thug Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). The man who lives next door to Nick is a mysterious fellow named Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Jay would throw massive parties every weekend, but his reason for doing so was surprisingly sweet: he hoped that one day Daisy would attend one of them. Daisy was Gatsby’s girl five years earlier, and once Jay discovers that Nick and Daisy are related, he asks Nick to invite Daisy over for tea. This sets in motion a chain of events that would change the lives of all concerned.