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12 Reasons Why “The Wolf of Wall Street” Should Win Best Picture This Year

08 February 2014 | Features, Other Lists | by Tyler Harris


2013 was a rare year in which the total number of truly great films released was so unbearably high that once the Oscar nominations were released, it became nearly impossible to guess which film would win. But there’s a stark difference between which film will win, and which film should win.

The nine nominations for Best Picture all deserve their rightful spot in the list of nominees, and it’s pretty much fair game on who’s going to take home the award, but there’s one film that lies within the nomination list that shines brighter than the rest of its competitors – Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

Here’s a film that turns its back on conventional filmmaking and awards campaigning. It’s controversial, explosive, and volatile – not your usual film that garners this many Oscar nominations; but it is also one piece of truly great filmmaking, and a display of brilliant satire. If there’s one film that deserves to win Best Picture, it’s “Wolf”, and here are the twelve reasons why.


12. Rob Reiner’s First Feature Film Role in 10 Years

wolf of wall street rob reiner

For all the scene chewing that Jonah Hill, Jon Bernthal, Margot Robbie, and Matthew McConaughey compete for, among many other supporting cast members, Rob Reiner delivers perhaps the most hilarious one of them all. As Jordan Belfort’s temper-driven father, Max Belfort, or “Mad Max” as everyone calls him, Reiner shines as he always does. It’s nice to see him on the big screen again.


11. More On-Screen Directors

wolf of wall street spike jonze

Rob Reiner isn’t the only film director to get on-screen acting time in “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Spike Jonze, whose new film “Her” is coincidentally up against Scorsese’s for Best Picture as well, also appears in the film as the creepy owner of a low-life penny stocks firm. His mustache says it all.

And while Reiner is screaming at his television and Jonze is making awkward passes at DiCaprio, who else appears? Why, Jon Favreau, of course! He’s briefly featured as Manny Riskin, who tries everything he can to help ease Belfort’s helpless case of debauchery. (And let’s not forget Martin Scorsese’s own cameo in the film either – as the guy on the phone who is sold Aerotyne shares by Belfort near the beginning!)


10. Matthew McConaughey – Shining Bright, Again

WOWS Matthew Mcconaughey

Matthew McConaughey is probably going to win Best Actor this year for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club”. It’s a deserved win, despite how well DiCaprio performs in this film (more on that later), but it should in no way overshadow McConaughey’s outing in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” McConaughey has been on a role lately, departing his life as a goofy rom-com actor, and taking himself a little more seriously, it seems like. Ever since his role in 2011’s “Killer Joe”, and “Lincoln Lawyer”, he’s proven himself as an actor with incredible range.


9. Amazing Manipulation

Scorsese has often proven that he can manipulate his audience’s subconscious mind by use of intentional goofs and lens changes.

An example: In “Shutter Island”, there’s a scene in which Teddy is interrogating a mental patient, who is drinking a glass of water. Through several quick cuts, the audience is disoriented easily, not just because of the rapid cut rate that just occurred, but because in one shot the character has the glass in her hand full of water, in the next shot there’s no water, and in the shot after that there’s not even a glass in her hand at all, as she takes a drink. It’s hardly noticeable, but it messes with the audience’s subconscious either way.

In “The Wolf of Wall Street”, in order to show the state of mind Belfort was in during any particular scene, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto was told by Scorsese to change the camera’s lens often, in between cuts. For scenes of sobriety, an anamorphic lens was used. For scenes of drug-induced paranoia, longer lenses were used.


8. Million Dollar Fashion


Well, the Banker style that Gordon Gekko (“Wall Street”) and Patrick Bateman (“American Psycho”) once made famous is back again, thanks to Jordan Belfort. Poor “American Hustle” thought it was going to overshadow all its other contenders when it came to style – that’s just not the case. For all of “Hustle’s” Gerry Curls, plunging necklines, and disco outfits, “Wolf” matches it with thousand dollar suits, gold Rolex watches, and Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.



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  • Lee Canestrini

    i’m so glad someone counteracted that bullshit american hustle piece with this.

    • Caity

      Wolf of Wallstreet is a 3 hour sausage and sexist feast made for teenage
      and early 20’s frat boys or males who are at that level of immaturity.
      They deliberately bribed the MPAA to bring the rating down from NC-17 to
      R so all the 15 year old boys can see the film, glorify it and repeat
      lines from it. Big whoop that a woman in her 70’s wouldn’t enjoy it.
      It’s not made for most women regardless of their age nor for mature men.
      The women in the film are nothing but props and sex objects. If this
      movie had Michael Bay’s name as the director (same exact movie) no high
      minded critics would be defending it as though it’s high art. It’s
      brainless teenage boy entertainment.

  • This film is my 2nd favorite film of 2013 and certainly the most fun I had watching a film in that year. I couldn’t stop laughing or enjoying myself. I wish it went on for much longer.

    • Carley

      Nope, I wouldn’t recommend the film to anyone. The wolf of wall street
      is bad. Not because it’s provocative but because it’s disgusting and
      offensive for no reason. Its misogyny is not an exposure or a critique,
      it’s a display. The message it pretends to be sending is just an excuse
      for the provocation that will guarantee some eyeballs, it doesn’t really
      criticize what it is portraying in any meaningful way nor does it
      expose how harmful it is to the women surrounding its ahole protagonist,
      who is the only one that matters and the consequences for him are the
      only consequences that matter. All that stays with you are the images of
      women used as objects, like in porn and this guy having a good time
      until he is not. They simply make sure that the film leaves an
      impression to boost its oscar chances even if that impression is through
      meaningless, misogynistic, degrading imagery and language. Bothering to
      critique or expose the injustice of things must be too much for the
      dumb audience they assume they have I guess.

  • It’s my second favorite film of the year, like Steven (my nr 1 is Her but that will never ever win). I fairly enjoyed American Hustle, but it was nothing more than an illogical piece of entertainment. 12 Years a Slave was just an Oscar bait in my opinion, although many people seem to love it a lot. The Butler might just as well win.

    • Cat

      This movie was a disappointment. It revels in the excesses of these
      characters with virtually no criticism. It both reflects and promotes
      the misogyny that pervades our culture while repressing any presentation
      of racism. The movie is screamingly repetitive & boring with only
      intermittent funny moments.

  • I’m hoping McConaughey takes the Oscar for Actor and Gravity for Picture (but it’s most likely losing to 12YaS) but these are all great points and my second favorite Scorsese movie.

    • Lena

      This was a pathetic, pointless, aimless, mysoginists, self-indulgent mess of a

      As a general fan of Scorsese, I was very disappointed in this film.

      No where near as good as his older films

  • Alexander James Buck

    I do not agree that this film is challenging. There is nothing challenging about this movie. I love Scorsese movies, but in this movie he is using tried a tried and tested formula with the main character narrating the audience through the story. It wasn’t so much the acting that doesn’t work for me. There are some great performances. I actually thought the story was boring – there is nothing groundbreaking about this movie, even though it is based on a true story. What’s new about about a stockbroker ripping off clients, taking a shed load of drugs, getting caught and then wouldn’t you know it, starting afresh. I felt zero emotion around the characters until DiCaprio takes his daughter for a trip upon threat of divorce and crashes the car. Even the country club scene where lead character has a problem walking after taking ludes, was not that special. There are countless other movies that depict drug taking that for me are much funnier/darker/more interesting. I guess I wasn’t bought into the characters in this movie. Perhaps that is what Scorsese was trying to do in representing stockbroking as cold and hard without any emotion. I didn’t even get to a point of hating DiCaprios character. I simply found him predictable and ultimately boring. Boiler Room was a much better movie about this story, although not concentrating on the ‘wolf’ admittedly. Either way, I don’t feel Wolf should win best movie, purely based on the fact that Scorsese is using a tried and tested formula for story-telling that we’ve seen before.



  • Marissa Valenetti

    My question is — is this movie doing anything new? At this point, “white
    Wall Street conmen experience meteoric rise and disgraceful plummet, as
    accompanied by prostitutes and drugs; cause us to question our own
    social values” isn’t new ground to tread. In a year where we had some
    pretty cool and unusual things happening in mainstream cinema (an
    animated “princess” movie where the most important relationship was
    between two sisters, a space thriller whose face was a middle-aged
    woman, a high-grossing action movie starring a young woman, a sci-fi
    blockbuster where 2/3 leads were NOT white men, a female buddy-cop
    movie), this just seems….tired. And honestly, nothing in this review
    is making me think the movie is going to ask any questions that haven’t
    been asked a million times, in similar explorations. Pass, sorry.

    • ebolaoutkast

      Focusing on ‘sisters’ is not some amazing accomplishment just because we’ve pegged a superficial ‘genre’ of kids movie.

      • skunkybeaumont

        BUT it was different than the typical damsel in distress has to be saved by her Prince. The men took a back seat in this one, a fun movie.

        • ebolaoutkast

          So YOU’RE that unseen Doug character. Anyway, that’s still not an amazing accomplishment, and the men still had a prominent role (one was a villain)

  • Cat

    Scorsese needs therapy. Let me see, main character, scumbag, supporting
    main character, scumbag, assistant to the debauched main character
    scumbag, putrid scumbag. Entire cast, scumbags. Evil, empty,
    mono-moronic scumbags. I get it… it’s a movie about scumbags. We
    certainly need all the scumbagery we can choke on. In that, Scorsese

    Previous movies: Gangs of scumbags, Mean Streets of
    scumbags, Departed scumbags. I’m sensing a theme. Hmmm, Scorsese likes
    telling stories about scumbags. Doesn’t exactly scream range, does it.
    Pity is, Scorsese has talent. Sure would like to see him venture down
    paths unknown for a change.

  • KOF

    1. DiCaprio gets to play an over-the-top version of his life when not shooting.
    2. We got the point of the whole movie in the first 3 minutes and watched it from the SAME perspective for another 2 hours 45 mins.
    3. Jonah Hill plays “The Jonah Hill.”
    and most critically
    4. No conflict. In “Goodfellas” and ‘Casino,” the anti-heroes were accountable to someone – even within their own sub-groups.
    5. Vintage Scorsese formalism and aesthetic which falls in the abyss of hollow spectacle. None the camerawork and editing ring with the weight of his greatest work.
    6. Soundtrack one of the worst in Scorsese’ oeuvre.
    7. Film got made because DiCaprio saw the role as a vehicle to “mug” and Scorsese was “hired” to do it – auteurism is out the window. It has nothing of Scorsese’s career élan (as Sarris would say in his seminal essay)
    8. The script IS pedantic. Surprising, considering Terence Winter has shown he’s more capable.
    9. You can’t save a movie on Rob Reiner and McConnaughey cameos.
    10. We’ve seen this message over and over before with more effect in documentaries of recent years.
    11. Scorsese WAS the greatest director of our times, in the 70s, 80s, and mid-90s. “The Departed” was a slick genre piece that redeemed that last 15 years of his career. Many directors, getting older, lose their “gut” compass on “real” life as they enter the .05 percent of the Upper East Side crowd. Scorsese is no longer the blue-collar, streetwise young man from which he found his voice. Provincial now.
    12. And egregiously, the usually fastidious Scorsese let his guard down with inconsistent performances. Everyone after DiCaprio, Hill, Reiner. McConnaughey and Kyle Chandler performed like they were cast out of a cancelled sitcom.

    But, these ARE the reasons it has a shot at many Oscars. Why? Because the Oscars ARE Hollywood’s version of “Wolf Of Wall Street.” See?

  • Dris

    “In terms of soundtracks, no one picks ‘em better than Scorsese does – except for maybe Tarantino.”
    AND Kubrick. Like, Kubrick is THE maestro of soundtracks.
    This movie is great. That’s not a big surprise from Scorsese. What makes it different from his other movies, is that the Wolf of Wall Street doesn’t want to teach you lessons about life, doesn’t want to give you moralities about good and bad. This film is not an epic tale of great values and low standards. No, this film is just documenting the events in a very exagerated way, 3 hours of non stop character play at full throttle. It’s fantastic.

    • skunkybeaumont

      Carpenter. Or maybe that’s just scores…

  • skunkybeaumont

    Nothing in Wolf of Wall Street stood out except for the hot blonde who played his wife, and I don’t even feel like looking up her name. This was Casino starring Leo. Nothing more nothing less.

  • Fuckyoubitch

    Brilliant article, I agree 100%, best movie of the decade

    • Ricardo Correia


  • Ricardo Correia

    3 Oscars? Not even 1