Martin Scorsese’s highly-anticipated new film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” opened on Christmas and after reports of standing ovations and sweeping praise, it seems a lock for plenty of Oscar consideration. Director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) was one of those lucky enough to have seen it already, Tweeting that the movie was “hilarious and gutwreching” and that costar Jonah Hill was a “revelation.” The movie is Scorsese’s longest yet, running at 2 hours and 59 minutes — beating “Casino” by one minute — and it reportedly would have been much longer if the director hadn’t been threatened with an NC-17 rating. Based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a Caligula-like New York stockbroker spiraling out of control in a miasma of rampant sex, Quaaludes, and hedonism.
Besides Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio as the bronzed Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is receiving plenty of buzz for cast mates Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, and newcomer Margot Robbie. That should come as no surprise since Scorsese has directed 18 different Academy Award-nominated performances throughout his 45 years in film. Robert De Niro got his big break as Johnny Boy in “Mean Streets,” unknowns Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty erupted on the scene with their roles in “Raging Bull,” and an 18-year-old Juliette Lewis had, arguably, her finest performance in “Cape Fear,” under the tutelage of the film auteur.
We’ve put together 13 of our favorite performances, all of which helped make Scorsese one of the most revered, influential directors to ever emerge from the American cinema.