The Wolf of Wall Street [movies]
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name. It was released on December 25, 2013. The screenplay was written by Terence Winter, and the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, a New York stockbroker who runs a firm, Stratton Oakmont, that engages in securities fraud and corruption on Wall Street in the 1990s.
The film also features Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. It is the fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio, and the second between Scorsese and Winter after Boardwalk Empire.
In 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes a stockbroker at an established Wall Street firm. His boss, Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey), recommends to him that he adopt a lifestyle of drugs and prostitutes in order to succeed. He passes the Series 7 Exam and earns his broker’s license, only to lose his job when the firm fails after Black Monday.
With the job market for stockbrokers slack, Belfort considers another career, but his wife Teresa Petrillo (Cristin Milioti) finds an ad for Investor Center, a Long Island boiler room which deals in penny stocks. Here, his aggressive pitching style soon earns him a fortune. He befriends Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a salesman who lives in the same apartment complex as Belfort, and they decide to open their own firm together, recruiting several of Belfort’s friends (all experienced marijuana dealers) and some co-workers from Investor Center to join them. The firm, Stratton Oakmont, soon becomes a billion-dollar company, and Belfort brings his parents, accountants “Mad” Max (Rob Reiner) and Leah Belfort (Christine Ebersole), to handle his finances.
Belfort funds lavish parties for his employees. He begins cheating on his wife with several prostitutes, and becomes addicted to cocaine and Quaaludes. FBI agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) begins investigating Belfort and the company. At one of his parties, Belfort meets Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) and begins an affair with her that leads to him divorcing his wife. Belfort falls in love with and proposes to Lapaglia. They wed, and a few months later, have a daughter, Skyler.
The FBI investigation continues, with the Securities and Exchange Commission joining in. Belfort opens a Swiss bank account with Jean-Jacques Saurel (Jean Dujardin) in the name of Naomi’s aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley). She and other non-Americans regularly carry cash to Geneva for deposit, helping Belfort launder the proceeds of Stratton’s securities frauds. The scheme is nearly exposed by an incident where Azoff gets into a fight with Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal), a drug dealer and friend of Belfort’s who has been helping transfer money to Switzerland.
After Bodnick is arrested, Azoff decides to take extremely powerful “Lemmon” Qualuudes with Belfort, in an attempt to break the news to him. The two take the pills and watch Family Matters, with no effect. Belfort soon receives a call from his private investigator, who advises him to call him on a payphone. Belfort goes to a local country club and talks to his private investigator on a payphone, who tells him that his house phone has been wiretapped. The Qualuudes begin severely affecting Belfort, who drives home and finds Azoff talking on the phone about the laundered money, before almost choking to death on a ham sandwich. Belfort counteracts the effects of the Qualuudes with cocaine, then performs CPR on Azoff, saving his life.
Belfort and Azoff take their wives on a yacht trip to Italy, where they learn that Emma has died of a heart attack. Over his grieving wife’s objections, Belfort orders the boat to Monaco so they can stop in Switzerland on the way to the funeral and settle the bank account, but it is capsized by a violent storm. After their rescue, a plane sent to take them to Geneva explodes in midair just before landing. Belfort considers this a sign from God and decides to sober up.
Two years later, Denham arrests Belfort during the filming of an infomercial. Saurel, arrested in Florida due to another scheme, has told the FBI everything. Since the case against him is overwhelming, Belfort agrees to wear a wire to gather evidence against his colleagues. He slips Azoff a note alerting him of this during a conversation.
Optimistic about his chances at sentencing, he attempts to reconcile with Naomi. Instead she tells him she wants a divorce, provoking a violent confrontation in which he hits Naomi and crashes his car while attempting to take Skylar, who is unhurt in the accident. The next morning, Denham, who had obtained the note Belfort passed to Azoff, arrests him. This time Belfort tells the FBI everything, leading to over 20 arrests in the ensuing raid on Stratton.
Belfort is sentenced to three years in prison. He serves his time at a minimum security Nevada facility where, just like Wall Street, “everything is for sale.” At the end of the film, he is teaching sales techniques at a seminar in New Zealand.