Scorsese does a wonderful job of situating us within Belfort’s headspace but balances these personal addresses with a larger study of the lifestyle, which stems from a breeding ground for these money-obsessed sects. Scorsese utilizes some inventive storytelling touches, never losing sight of the self-congratulating angle of the narrative but having a noose ready at the same time. I came into this film having recently read Belfort’s memoir. I began to get worn down by his gloating recounts of his senseless debauchery, despite finding the insight into how he built the firm fascinating. I felt the novel was extremely indulgent and was skeptical about how Scorsese and Winter could craft an engaging tale from Belfort’s ramblings. The result is as an astonishing adaptation, the blueprint for that rare occasion where a film betters its source material.
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