Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2016. Black Bear Pictures, Boies / Schiller Film Group, Hwy61, Living Films. Screenplay by Patrick Massett, John Zinman. Cinematography by Robert Elswit. Produced by Patrick Massett, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Nozik, Teddy Schwarzman, John Zinman. Music by Daniel Pemberton. Production Design by Maria Djurkovic. Costume Design by Danny Glicker. Film Editing by Douglas Crise, Rick Grayson. Golden Globe Awards 2016.
With the recession of the early eighties driving his commodities business into the ground, Matthew McConaughey is looking for the redemption that will get him out of making calls from the bar where his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) slings drinks and back to the glory of the days when his father (Craig T. Nelson) ran an office on the high floor of a building. That opportunity falls directly in his lap when a prospector (Édgar Ramírez) writes of his reasons to believe that there is gold in Indonesia, prompting McConaughey to hock his last piece of jewelry and fly halfway around the world and become partners with the man. Back home, the discovery makes the two men the new kings of Wall Street, and McConaughey even manages to outmaneuver some greedy suits before the final moments of his relationship with Ramirez reveal the surprise twist he never could have predicted. Truth be told, I didn’t see it coming either, and thank goodness that happened because this film is so by-the-numbers up to that point that it seems determined to be nothing you haven’t seen before. A tame Wolf of Wall Street with a committed lead performance completely at odds with Stephen Gaghan’s slack direction, the film has gorgeous locations and fun characters but never manages to make much of an impression.