Tuesday, November 11, 2014

McConaughey's Chest-Thumping Humming Is No Fugazi

I recently watched the controversial Martin Scorsese film Wolf of Wall Street for the first time. I did this despite my reservations given the debauchery I have heard is contained therein. As it turns out that part was as bad as I imagined. However, the movie does not celebrate it but rather mocks the soulless decadence of a particular episode of Wall Street excess. It also mocks more generally the sociopathy that is endemic to Wall Street stockbroker culture.

Below is the very best scene in the movie and indeed the very best scene in any movie I have viewed this calendar year. In fact, I find my thoughts drifting back to it again and again since viewing it. Heretofore I have not been a Matthew McConaughey fan. However, this scene might be making a convert of me. It is a ferociously-funny send-up of stockbrokers. It also shows that McConaughey, here as a seasoned stockbroker giving advice to a rookie played by Leonardo diCaprio, is a much better actor than I previously realized.

Two notes of note: the chest-thumping and humming at the beginning and end were not originally in the screen play. However, McConaughey was doing it before the scene to prepare his voice. It was deemed so interesting and entertaining he was asked to do it in character in this scene. Also, this scene introduced me to a wonderful new (to me) expression "fugazi" meaning "fake." The etymology of it is rather interesting not to mention convoluted and controversial.  

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