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Watching "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Published on January 16, 2014 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about Martin Scorsese's new film, "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Here's an excerpt:

“'The Wolf of Wall Street” is one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies.

Well, I loved it. This wild black comedy (yes, it’s a comedy) is the funniest movie Martin Scorsese has ever made, as well as a trenchant examination of dude culture’s uglier facets. The characters are stockbrokers, but they occupy the same moral universe as the gangsters in “Goodfellas.” Both films suggest that if your sole goal in life is to be rich, you’re probably a soulless monster.

'The Wolf of Wall Street' tells the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), who founded the corrupt firm Stratton Oakmont, made a bundle of money, abused countless drugs and was ultimate convicted of defrauding investors with fraudulent stock sales. (The story of Stratton Oakmont also inspired the 2000 film 'Boiler Room,' which is worth a look.) Scorsese films Belfort’s rise and sort-of fall in the most electrifying way possible, as an unhinged, non-stop bacchanal that DiCaprio has described as 'almost like a modern-day Caligula.'

The excess and style on display has prompted some to wring their hands and worry that Scorsese’s film glorifies the criminal and immoral actions of really bad men. But I never got the sense that Scorsese viewed his characters as good people, even as he invites us to laugh at and indulge in their antics. At heart, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a deeply moral film, about the consequences of allowing people like Jordan Belfort to run amok and slapping them on the wrist when their crimes can no longer be ignored. For all his wrongdoing, Belfort only served 22 months in prison. This isn’t Martin Scorsese’s fault."

Click here to read more.

User Comments
Dino girl | January 17, 2014 18:57

A modern-day Caligula? That's pretty raw! I remember when the movie "Caligula" came out in the late 1970s. Rated X, it was so controversial that the newspaper I worked for didn't want to run the ad for it. But they did, and the night I went to see it with my boyfriend, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper walks in the movie theater! Nothing like watching an x-rated movie with the big boss sitting two rows away!

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