Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street looks amazing. So tell me, do I/we have the hots for Leo?
I’ll say one thing about Paramount’s official trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street, the new Martin Scorsese joint starring Leonardo DiCaprio as convicted stock market manipulator Jordan Belfort: It is impossible to look away from. It’s flashy, fast, and keenly edited to include only the most theatrical arrogance. Essay question: Am I attracted to Leonardo DiCaprio? Are we? I forget.
First, the trailer.
Everyone here’s playing a souped-up version of a previous role. Jonah Hill’s know-it-all character from Moneyball has bloomed naturally into a cocky honcho type, Matthew McConaughey’s Magic Mike guru is now a hifalutin’, ultra-confident suit, and Leonardo DiCaprio is the white-collar criminal from Catch Me If You Can as re-conceived in Gordon Gekko’s image. On paper, Leo’s upgrade is ideal. Even fun.
Except then you remember he’s played this role in every movie — The Aviator, Django Unchained, Catch Me If You Can, J. Edgar, The Great Gatsby. I don’t mind when actors play a type, but at this point it’s like if Meryl Streep only portrayed versions of Miranda Priestley, her character in The Devil Wears Prada: You’d appreciate Meryl’s ability to get into bigshot caricature roles, but the essential enigma and humor of her performances would dwindle if we came to expect it in every movie she picked. Leo’s choices are so expected, it’s hard to get too excited for his projects, even if they’re as slickly produced as The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s affecting my natural appreciation for his stoic attractiveness, too.
There’s something conventional about Leo’s fratty, ubermensch charm, but the undertones of darkness, strangeness, utter confidence, and intelligence have always made him more intriguing to me. He also looks like a young Jodie Foster, which confuses my libido. I miss Leo’s sensuality, that vulnerability from (you guessed it) Titanic that still makes Jack Dawson his most effective performance to date.
I’m hoping this movie combines the domino-paced dialogue of The Social Network and the Wall Street vigor and melodrama of Margin Call, but I also hope it gives Leo a chance to showcase more than what we’ve seen so many times from him — the beaming, yet crumbling tycoon-type. It’d be novel if he were way hotter, and less “cool” too.