I finally saw this movie. I'm that self-righteous kind of person who refuses to see a movie simply because it's what everyone happens to be talking about. It's why I didn't watch Breaking Bad until after it ended and why I refuse to start True Detective. (Lies... I'm too curious about that continuous shot and apparently terrible finale to not check out True Detective eventually.) But let's get down to business. Spoilers throughout.
The Hipster Shit
1. This movie was ENTIRELY TOO LONG. When I first thought it was starting to wind down, and I checked how much time was left, I wasn't even 50 minutes in yet! OMG I CAN'T SIT STILL THAT LONG. I kept taking web surfing breaks because the movie was making my mind mush. I feel like an entire hour could have been lobbed off and the story would still have been as strong. And apparently the movie release was delayed so it could be CUT FOR TIME! WTF. Learn to edit Scorsese.
2. I finally understand all the "Poor Leo" angst post Oscars this year! Lol. There are some people in Hollywood who I accept as good actors just because I have been told they are good actors but I don't really have any feelings about them either way. These include Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood. I'll watch their movie, and I'll likely enjoy them too, but I'm usually watching for the movie as opposed to because I think the movie must be good because their name is attached. This is how I've always felt about Leo.
BUT LEO TOTALLY DESERVED AN OSCAR FOR THIS MOVIE!
I can honestly say that his performance made it for me. His was fantastic in this role and I loved every second of him. I loved the scene where Naomi wakes him up and throws water in his face over "Vienna" and the entire sequence from in the Country Club to after he saves Jonah Hill from choking should have gotten him the statue alone. I LOVED IT. Seeing this movie actually makes me want to go back and watch his other movies that I've loved (Gatsby, Inception) and really look at his acting.
3. Margot Robbie is fucking YOUNGER than me and now I hate her. I don't really, but how the HELL are the up and coming actresses YOUNGER than me already? I'm only 23! Granted she's only younger than me by about 3 weeks but still. I quite enjoyed her performance honestly but my first thought when I saw her age was that I would have felt super awkward making the fake boom boom with someone over a decade and half older than me.
4. Jonah Hill was also surprisingly great! I mean, in my mind he's still a comedic actor, (I never saw Moneyball) so it was really fun to see him in this role and actually find his performance totally believable. I loved him and I think it's awesome he's diversifying his roles. He's actually pretty solidly talented.
5. I kind of wish they had explained how the securities fraud worked a little more. There was actually a scene where Leo is explaining it to camera and he goes "but you're not following this anyway, never mind" and was all "I WAS TOTALLY LISTENING LEO KEEP EXPLAINING" because even though I understand on a basic level how it worked I think the suspense would have been built better if I have a better understanding of how exactly they were breaking the law.
The Feminist Shit
1. The "Rape Scene": While I read it more as "can we please just get it over with" rather than rape as it was happening, considering that he slaps her and punches her in the gut right after that and tries to kidnap her child? I dunno... I'm honestly still not inclined to call it a rape, but I don't think it was an okay thing for him to do, especially since she did very clearly say she wasn't into it before she acquiesced. So coercion? I don't know. I do feel like the lines were blurry, and they could have been made a little less blurry by having her say something about it not being okay after the fact. [Please don't stone me. If you think it was definitely rape, that's okay. I'm not mad about it, and it's not something I wan to argue about]
2. The conversation they had about little people in the conference room was all kinds of terrible. They literally talked about them like they were work horses. It was super gross and I didn't like it. I understand that the point is that they're all douchecanoes, but did we have to throw little people under the bus to show that?
3. The constant drug use really bugged me. That's not a problem so much as a personal issue. Depictions of drug use always freak me out a bit. Anything other than pills freaks me out. The constant snorting of cocaine made me a little pearl clutchy, (out of her bum hole? really?!) but I understand that my sensibilities are probably just more delicate than other people's.
4. I HATED the scene where the woman shaved her head for $10K. No only did they basically ask her to turn herself into a side show, they didn't even shave her properly! And the fact that they apparently made her promise to get new tits with the money? *BARF* That particular instance of objectification weirdly bugged me more than the unnecessarily naked ladies all over the place.
5. The flashback scene on the plane on the flight to Sweden/Switzerland/wherever the fuck it was. WHAT. THE. FUCK. That poor hostess looked mortified that some man was basically humping her and trying to feel her up and I can guarantee you than any MoC who behaved that way would have been booked, sentenced and jailed before he could sober up. It was all kinds of sexual assault and just gross. By all accounts this man was an asshole. Again, that scene weirdly bugged me more than the scene with him and Naomi.
6. The straight line infomercial video in the end where the ONE black guy's line is something like "if you don't have the balls to do this then you're lazy and should go work and McDonald's!" Face meet palm. Although, I'm 90% sure it was done that way to elicit that exact reaction, I just.... can't. It's too close to the real life attitudes of people for it to be funny to me yet.
So that's about it. The bacchanalian aspects didn't really bug me that much because I personally pro-hedonism, but I think I was more annoyed that the real guy apparently got off really easy. Three years? WTF. In a country club prison?!? I mean, that alone should tell you volumes about how justice works in the US. Sell a bag of weed while black/hispanic/not-white? Go directly to jail and ruin your life forever. Purposely and intentionally fuck with people's lives and livelihoods while making millions and millions of dollars? Play tennis in your country club jail. I even love that in the end he says "For a brief second, I forgot that I was rich." Asshole had it made. That ticked me off. And I googled the real guy: he wrote two book about what he did and made even MORE money. Isn't there a rule about not profiting from your crime or some nonsense? Especially when you haven't finished paying restitution?
I also kind of hated that they didn't seem to come down on either side morally, simply because the guy is OBJECTIVELY AN ASSHOLE. I mean, I don't think anyone's going to go try to be a stockbroker and sink their yacht over it, but considering that he essentially gets a happy ending, it would have been nice if the film had condemned him.
I found it interesting that it reminded me of Breaking Bad coming down to the end. They were making so much money they were literally fucking on it, but they couldn't stop making more. They had more than they knew what to do with, but like Walter, earning it became the power in itself. That became the addiction: knowing what they were capable of.
Either way, I quite liked it actually. It was fun to watch, and I laughed out loud on several occasions. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I finally saw it. I would definitely recommend it as a must watch. (Unlike American Hustle, which was a largely forgettable movie, with nice-ish costumes)
ETA: This wasn't nearly as obnoxious as I was intending. So sorry to disappoint! :)