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
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
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
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.