Should I pay to see it?
This may depend on the audience with which you find yourself, but Wolf is absolutely worth the theater price, or the pay-per-view cost if you don’t want to rush out and see it. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill both give Oscar-worthy (and sometimes cringe-worthy) performances, though I am not part of the group lamenting Matthew McConaughey topping the former. Some people scolded Scorsese for parading around and celebrating the drug-filled chaos depicted onscreen, but the movie simply gives a stunning look into a failure of modern American excess, while allowing room for laughter along the way. Wolf will probably remain watchable for years to come, but I would recommend seeing it in unedited form rather than waiting for it to make the television rounds. Movies like this one or The Departed lose some of their vulgar luster when toned down for wider audiences, and Wolf thrives because of the filth Leo and Hill feed on and spit out.
Could I watch it with a date?
Could I watch it with my mother?
West Virginia. DiCaprio’s performance is truly phenomenal at times, as free as I’ve ever seen him in a role, and Hill continues to solidify his place among Hollywood’s best, but there is no denying just how horribly the characters act and speak. The screenplay is lively and shocking, thanks in large part to real-life Jordan Belfort’s own memoirs, but not in a way that you and your mother will chuckle over.
I don’t mean to dissuade you from watching Wolf, only to make it clear that you should view it in a setting that allows you to laugh and gasp free from social inhibitions. Maybe it didn’t deserve any Oscar victories, or maybe it was just too much for Academy voters to handle. Regardless, the film offers a fascinating look at the dark side of capitalism, and a unique chance to see Leo absolutely letting loose in the familiar confines of Scorsese’s directing.