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Doris Tourmarkine’s “Wolf of Wall Street” Could Have Been So Much More

In response to Doris Toumarkine’s 731‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Film Journal International

By ,

Doris Toumarkine’s “Film Review: The Wolf of Wall Street” is such a disappointment. It’s not that is it’s badly written or that glimmers of intelligent analysis don’t peek through. It’s that the “review” spends more time telling the audience what the film is about than doing actual film critique. Why, oh why, do so many critics feel it necessary to  spend paragraph after paragraph telling the story of the movie, when a few sentences are usually enough?   Tell enough of the story to get to the fun part: is it a good movie or not, and why. Don’t waste time writing what amounts to a book  sleeve description like you see on hardcover books.

But back to this piece in particular: Toumarkine gets off to a good start. For the first two paragraphs, she is clear and concise; the audience knows what she thinks of the film and are now eagerly anticipating why this clearly intelligent film reviewer feels this way.

And then, with the dreaded sentence, “DiCaprio’s Belfort begins his journey in the ‘80s…” it begins. And goes on… and on… for six mind-numbing paragraphs. Okay, maybe “mind-numbing’s” a little strong, but this critic could easily have achieved the same thing in two paragraphs at most. Instead, the audience is left with only three paragraphs for analysis and wrap up. Again,  as these remaining paragraphs show, Tourmarkine has something worthwhile to say. So why doesn’t she allow herself more space to say it?

Wolf of Wall Street is a major disappointment—not because it doesn’t have something worthwhile to offer, but because it clearly could have been so much more.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation