Leonardo DiCaprio Says ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ Is “Not Condoning This Behavior…We’re Indicting It”

Leonardo DiCaprio Says 'The Wolf Of Wall Street' Is "Not Condoning This Behavior...We’re Indicting It"

As Movies.com notes, “The Counselor,” “The Family,” “The Last Exorcism Part II,” “Movie 43,” “The Purge,” “Runner Runner” and “Scary Movie 5” are the only movies this year that managed a lower grade than the C+ CinemaScore recently earned by “The Wolf Of Wall Street.” It’s hardly the kind of company you’d expect to find the latest film from Martin Scorsese included with, but then again, nothing about ‘Wolf’ meets ordinary expectations. 

Despite largely positive reviews from critics, a backlash of sorts has started to greet the movie for its party atmosphere that does much to shine the light on the antics of Jordan Belfort and his fellow Wall Street sleazebags, and little on the actual victims of his frauds. The daughter of one of Belfort’s real life colleagues even penned an open letter recently, shaming the filmmakers for turning Belfort’s crimes into R-rated entertainment, for what she perceived was very little consideration for the innocent people who wound up paying the price. 

And with some criticism now swirling, Leonardo DiCaprio has responded, insisting that the three hour movie doesn’t celebrate the actions of the man he portrays. “This film may be misunderstood by some; I hope people understand we’re not condoning this behavior, that we’re indicting it,” he told Variety. “The book was a cautionary tale and if you sit through the end of the film, you’ll realize what we’re saying about these people and this world, because it’s an intoxicating one. I think it’s amazing somebody like Martin Scorsese is still making films that are vital and talked about, and have an element of controversy about them and are appealing to people of my generation. We grew up watching his films and he’s still making stuff that’s punk rock. It’s an amazing achievement.”

Speaking with Deadline, DiCaprio—who is also a producer on the picture—elaborated on why so much of the film is spent on sex, drugs and debauchery. “Number one, because we didn’t want to take a traditional approach to this film. Number two, we very consciously wanted this to be an analysis of the temptation and intoxication of the world of money and indulgence and hedonism,” the actor explained. “We wanted to take the audience on that journey, and so we don’t ever see the wake of that destruction until the very end, where they implode. It was a very conscious decision on our part, so the experience would be almost like taking a drug. To me, if you’re an audience member, you want to be completely submerged in the actual film.” 

And if you are one of the bros who totally loves the movie because of its wild ways, you might not be getting it. “We wanted it to be from these peoples’ perspective, an understanding of the very nature of who these people are, and why this can be so intoxicating and so exciting for them. By no means is this film a glorification or some sort of promotion of this lifestyle and those who say it is are missing the point entirely,” DiCaprio stated.

So, when does the movie pause to acknowledge that Jordan Belfort’s methods have horrifying repercussions? Even Leonardo DiCaprio missed it at first. “We wanted people specifically to understand the mindset. During that time period, none of those guys gave a crap about who they were screwing over. They only cared about themselves and their own hedonistic enjoyment and the accumulation of more wealth, and giving into any possible indulgence. Yes, Marty brilliantly holds onto that shot of the woman, holding a bundle of money in her hand with half of her head shaved off. He kept holding on that and only after the fifth viewing did I say, wow, those are his subtle ways of reminding us about our actions,” the actor revealed, before once again adding that ‘Wolf’ does not make any apologies for what it depicts.

“We’ve seen hundreds of movies that have a much more traditional approach to this [kind of material]. I’m sorry for anyone who may misinterpret that, but this is absolutely an indictment of this world and a cautionary tale. More than that, it’s something that is in the very fabric of our culture, the very fabric of the United States. That, to me, is a powerful film. It is exploring human nature.”

Thoughts? Does “The Wolf Of Wall Street” spend enough time showing the consequences or is it too caught up in throwing midgets and doing blow? Let us know below after this latest clip from the film.

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,


Comments

James D

Everybody here is really talking about how "poisoning", "sinful", and "pornographic" this film was? The point of the movie is to be realistic so you know how the characters felt and what they were going through. The fact your felt disgusted is not a bad thing because that means you have a conscious. However, isn't a directors job is to leave an impression and create a realistic point of view? If its to real for you than you should stick to pg 13. because this is no were no a rated XXX film. A lot of fallacies and insecurities floating around, lets be adults about it.

AAA

I work in an industry not unlike the industry depicted in the film (easy work [well, physically demanding, but only if you're a pussy], tons of cash, drugs, and women). We have lots of time to sit around watching movies, or doing whatever though. (Unlike wallstreet though, instead of destroying the lives of people in our own nation, we destroy nature instead). I understand what they say they were going for in this movie, but honestly, all the guys I work with just thought it was an awesome drug-fest like Project X… personally, it was fun, like heading to a rave and getting zooed. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the recession created by people like those depicted in the movie [except the guys that created the recession were smart, and powerful enough to get promoted into consulting positions in the US gov after, rather than have the gov come after them like those in the movie lol]). And another thing in the back of my mind were the people on the other end of the phone. The average person, with an average job, spending forty years working hard just to make a fraction of what the people depicted in the movie (and the actors depicting them) earn in a few months to a couple years. I think the only big mistake made, was to devote so much of the movie to glorifying the lifestyle, rather than showing the end results… but then again, this is only showing the guys dumb enough not to buy out politicians, and make powerful friends. The real deal gets to live large and die of old age filthy rich, with no consequences (at least in this life), because they own the only people that have the power to stop them, or they own their bosses. Boiler Room (2000 movie) did a much better job already at doing what DiCaprio says they were trying to portray with this movie.

Jdub

And at the same time their are plenty of other movies that display profanity, sex, and drugs just like Wolf of Wall Street. The only difference is Leonardo Dicaprio plays the main character. You should not judge him for portraying a character either, do you judge Ted Levine for portraying a psycho who skins women in silence of the lambs? No, because it's a character and a job. Wolf of Wall Street simply depicts the lifestyle of what Wall Street was actually like during the time period, sorry they had to be so accurate but it's simply entertainment. If people aren't smart enough not to do blow amongst other substances than they are simply uneducated. Plain and simple the movie portrays that lifestyle whether you enjoy viewing that lifestyle is your decision but do not be so quick to judge producers for portraying the lifestyle truthfully and to their fullest ability.

DeeDee

This is the most disgusting movie that Leonardo has ever made, I will never ever watch another movie he is in….we are living in the Endtimes..where right is wrong & wrong is right.
Sad….world.

cheryl

Saw the movie in a hotel last week. Wanted to shut it down during the first few minutes when this disgusting lead actor was blowing cocaine into a womans anus….This sort of stuff may have actually happened, but the sex involved in this movie should have it at a triple X rating. I have lost respect for the lead actor, Scorcese and everyone involved in the movie…It would have been a classic if it weren't so obsessed with such an enormous amount of hedonism, objectification of women and vulgarity..Love how you guys loved to show women's genitals, but never a mans….You have poisoned the minds of everyone who watched….You just knew that this type of sex would sell….embarrassing…I despise Hollywood….Sad thing is that my 17 and 19 year old snuck into this movie and now their minds are poisoned forever.

Arto Kamera

gg.me/at/watzleft

Arto kamera

He says we are Not Condoning This Behavior… We’re Indicting It. How comes we got the opposite feeling? I am french I am fan of Pasolini. But this movie definitely missed the mark.

Miranda

I am definitely not a movie credit, but when something is so disgusting, so revolting, and just so plain terrible I'm compelled to at least tell everyone to listen to not see this movie. It's the biggest waste of your time, and you're saving yourself from being positively ill. My opinion of Leonardo DiCaprio has forever been changed. Awful awful awful. . Unless you're a thirteen year old boy who steals his daddy's Hustlers.

SC

Leonardo, the critics and whoever else can say all the positive things they want about this film… But it is clearly glorifying some really disgusting sh**, like prostitutes. And the character "upgrades" his wife, the only character we don't see having sex or naked during the film. Why are all the women in this movie portrayed as a bunch of bimbos and purely sex objects

Doris Gumner

This was absolutely the WORST film I have EVER seen. It was almost hard-core PORN! I cannot imagine a star like Leonardo DiCaprio filming something like this, nor can I imagine any of those women wanting to get into films so badly that they would play a part like that. It was totally the most DISGUSTING film ever!!!!!

BleeOz

Typo- Jordan Belfort….

BleeOz

It's a movie – If a 17-18 year old isn't smart enough to realize the outcome of living a life in the form depicted of John Belfort earlier lifestyle then, that's their life. If they choose to go that route and aren't smart enough to realize the repercussions, then that's their choice, not the actors or filmakers.
And mine you , Scorsee is telling a story, through film with actual facts and depictions. You have every right to share your opinions and concerns but need to realize that this is a story not showing people " What" to do but to show what "NOT" to do.

And I would give dozens of other films that have been brought to the screen but then again judgement would be placed in regards to those as well.

Carole Paikin Miller

Do Scorcese and DiCaprio ever stop to consider that many normal, higher minded people who might have given the film a chance had it been more Belfortish biographical, more insightful, more analytical and more victim-centred, won't hang around for the endiclimax? I turned off this crap one quarter of the way into the movie and I know a number of my friends and acquaintances did as well. The trouble with these sorts of treatments is that indeed they highlight the debaucheries in a way that has the hedonistic high of sucking in younger viewers to the lifestyle, without making the point earlier on and getting to the indictment aspect. Sorry, the movie stunk.

The Pharaoh

This movie was satanic. Straight up porn and f-bombs every frickijn scene. I'm 25 and it was waaaaaaaaaay too much for me. Hollywood should be ashamed. Pissed me off to no end. Scorses is now on my s#!+ list. You suck scorses. Geez if I wanted to watch this garbage I would have watched a porn flick. I seriously want to punch dicaprio and scorses. Ughh. Horrible plain acting by dicaprio. Only one who was ok was jonah hill. Common damn sense folks….

Jonesie

Given that Leonardo produced the movie, and wanted to play that part so bad, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out he's a sex addict as portrayed in the movie. I found the film funny and deeply disturbing.

Marissa Celenetti

Wolf of Wallstreet is a 3 hour sausage and sexist feast made for teenage and early 20's frat boys or males who are at that level of immaturity. They deliberately bribed the MPAA to bring the rating down from NC-17 to R so all the 15 year old boys can see the film, glorify it and repeat lines from it. Big whoop that a woman in her 70's wouldn't enjoy it. It's not made for most women regardless of their age nor for mature men. The women in the film are nothing but props and sex objects. If this movie had Michael Bay's name as the director (same exact movie) no high minded critics would be defending it as though it's high art. It's brainless teenage boy entertainment.

Martin

I don't thing that either Mr. DiCaprio or Mr. Scorsese care at all what anyone thinks on this blog or anywhere else in the media, as long as the movie makes money, and they personally make money. To think otherwise would be sadly naïve.

Merryl

I found the movie to be a dark comedy. These guys were a-holes of the worst kind.
The movie had many funny parts.
I know many people that watched the Soparanos and thought it was hysterical.
I personally did not, but again these men were majorly flawed and violent, and yet each week people tuned in to laugh at the antics of Tony Soprano.
In life, there has to be some humor, even when people lose.
What about American Hustle, a comedy about Abscam?

Andy

I can't believe how naive both Scorsese and Di Caprio are if they think
that "The wolf of wall street" is not going to encourage people to see
greed as a justifiable and even enjoyable human trait. There was a great
opportunity here, but "The wolf of wall street" fails to show the
devastating consequences that reckless greed has on our society. It's a
shame that both these incredibly creative minds have channelled their
powers into such a one-sided perspective of a huge issue. Di Caprio
states that Scorsese doesn’t judge his characters, but he did choose not
to show the most important ramifications of his character’s actions and
to spend nearly 3 hours showing off the most trivial. They say it’s a
dark comedy, and yes I was laughing, but where’s the dark?

StephenW

This was definetly one of Scorsese's best movues because of how insane the story characters were. All of them were made to be hated and the whole movie was based around an antagonist in Jordan Belfort. It beutifully shows the danger in drugs and how they can ruin your entire life your relationships and the way you act. Although Dicaprios character did become rich he was already on the path before he started doing drugs. And that led to all the insanity in the movie and if for some reason you believe that this movie was bad because it had to much "x-rated content" you should really rethink how you view the kind of life he was living. And sure with our movie rating system it should of had a higher rating than X because of all the sex and drugs but then again is it really any better to see people getting constantly killed and seeing genocide taking place. Have we really come to the point where mass murder is more socially acceptable and family orriented than sex?

Loring

WOLF is another of Scorsese's brilliant moral metaphors to explore what it means to be a Human Being in the United States of Narcissism. Just as in CASINO, grown men and women go bat sh** crazy intoxicated on money and power losing their soul to the "devil," the ego. It's never enough 'til it's too much. Look at the world that surrounds us: it's all about 'getting'…getting it all. The Promise of Perfection, living the 'good life.' Or so it seems. Scorsese asks, 'where's the love, where's the connection to the sacred, where does this pathology end up? Good show, Scorsese!

Balls

I totally agree with zedd, this is the worst movie ive ever seen

Margery Richardson

Does everyone connnected to this film ,see themselves as so sophisticated, that they don't realize this is just a sleazy double x movie. Obviously our rating system is defunct and I am shocked and disgusted. If they think it is suitable for young people to see, then they are contributors to the moral degradation of our country

Maraselah

Well yeah most of Scorsese's movies are not celebratory, but more cautionary. No one should watch Goodfellas and want to stab a guy in the neck. If people really need that explained to them maybe they shouldn't talk about movies.

Barbara

Looking forward to seeing this movie today. It is certainly more like today's world than Hobbitt. I enjoy seeing movies that are about things that really happen. I agree with Leonardo DiCaprio who wanted this to be an "analysis of the temptation and intoxication of the world of money and indulgence and hedonism" … like taking a drug. "None of those guys gave a crap about who they were screwing over" tells it like it is with the rich striving to get rich while the poor starve.

Cindy Troublefield

Go to see R rated movies all the time. This one made me sick!! Turned me against Leo, Martin Scorsase and the whole bunch. Didn't take much education to write that script.Waaaaaaayyyyyy to much sex, overuse of the "f" word. Couldn't even think about the plot of the movie because of the shock of the fact that it should be a porn film!! No depiction of the victims on a personal level!!

Zedd

I don't care about the moral issues, but the screenplay had some real boners – excuse the expression. Labored dialogue, flat uninteresting characters. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyy too long. Seriously, it may finally be time for a new editor. If he can make sex boring, there is something seriously wrong is Martyland.

BEF

If this wasn't a Leo movie released on Christmas day, we wouldn't see this much discussion, or such a low score… it's when more families go to a movie as a family and a lot of people probably don't read The Playlist and didn't get what they thought they were …

I do have problems with the film, but I love the discussion that has come from this, though. I'm in the gray middle. Have problems with some choices, but such a great DiCaprio performance and film within a film …. I might be a C+/B- right now. Could re-evaluate later after all this talk dies down.

face to face

He shows a world that depicts people who will go all the way. So after seeing it, will you go that way or the other way?

surprised

You know what people should blame? Movies that don't take the boat, movies with not guts.
Movies that lie to you. Movies that tell you what to think. People who make you believe all the wrong values in a phony way. there is a lot more horror when you see cliche movies, they hide things from you and you only see the surface and believe what they are telling you.

state of mind

I want to be part of a movie like that, I don't want to be part of that lifestyle; I've watched martin scorsese movies for years (haven't seen all of them but a lot) and I can say that this man has a generous soul and is always encouraging filmakers from the past and the present. He's a gift and it saddens me to see this being wrongly critized. He's a smart man and he wouldn't do something stupid. And I have to say i was impressed with leonardo dicaprio and Joanh hill, very good duo. they gave a lot. people should bark at the people who did that on wall street, not the artists who try to show all types of behaviors, stories, lifestyles and social classes.

captain

Hey, you've got stupid things like the seth rogen, james franco parody of a video clip, people go : "woowowo man, hunhun hunhahhaa, funny, ha!"
But then you have a movie like this one who simply shows things as they are and people start screaming at them!

queens

You know what movies pissed me off this year: stupid Spring Breakers, the movie is stupid in itself. But since it's so brainless, people don't discuss it. it's just considered like a music video or a video game. Or the movie This is the end where you have careless characters taking drugs, saying mean stuff to each other and still end up dancing to the backstreet boys in heaven with alcohol.

sing us

This movie is different!!! What people should be ashamed of are the movies that are repeating themselves. sometimes it feels like the same movie comes out over and over. I've seen movies that are so hypocritical and hiding in plain sight and nobody sees that. What's wrong with showing a man as he is, with all his errors and flaws? And follow him and see how far he goes? It doesn't mean that you have to love him and cheer for him… People would rather see a movie where everything is going to be "all right"….

Reggie

A movie by rich people for rich people. Yuck.

camino

Woooowww! This is the first time I see people going that wild for a movie! I think people were so absorbed in the film that they couldn't tell the difference between the film and the people. they are blaming the filmaker, actors, but isin't that a true life story? shouldn't people rebel against people who do that in real life? it touched a nerve. I saw the movie and loved the way it's told, I got all sorts of memories from the 80s and 90s, things on tv, the style etc. I dislike movies that lie to us, that pretend, that make us believe in fake values with undevelopped characters and I think people should rebel against those ones. But as I see, this one doesn't lie and I think it strikes something in people. I think that movie is a turning point in cinema history because it shows you the horror behind a superficial lifestyle. usually other movies glorify superficiality and make people blindly believe that they saw a feel good movie and walk out of the theater as idiots.

Some thoughts...

*Running time and repetition is a directorial tool just like lighting, costume design, score etc.
One of the obvious themes of Wolf of Wall Street is addiction. Addiction to greed and excess.
An addict chases the "high", going further and further until they become completely numb and the joy and ecstasy of the whole thing is gone. I immediately got the sense while watching the film that that was what the director wanted to portray. It wouldn't have been enough to show a couple scenes of debauchery. It had to keep going to the point of nausea in order to have the intended effect of how dehumanizing addiction to money, sex and power really is.

*If Scorsese condones this behavior, why does he include the shots of Belforts daughter looking on in horror at her drugged up father? Those shots are clearly not from Belfort's perspective since he had no consideration for the consequences of his actions. The film revels in a certain kind of person's perspective for three hours. It is in the brief moments where it deviates from that reverie that the artist's true nature and opinion lies.

* We never see the victims because the film is told from the perspective of someone who didn't think about the victims. That was obvious to me from the beginning. Most of us don't need to see the victims because we are the victims. This film is about the same kind of addiction to money, greed and power that brought us the 2008 financial crisis. Sure, most of those Wall Street guys weren't having massive orgies and drug binges, but the film is using the story of one extreme individual to express an idea that goes farther beyond him alone.

*The film ends on a long still shot of an audience. An audience that has gathered in admiration of Jordan Belfort. The film indicts the audience that glorifies and longs for this lifestyle and behavior just as much as the people who partake in it. How many times did we hear people (ordinary middle class citizens) making excuses for the "Wolves of Wall Street" in 2008? A lot of people out there want that lifestyle.

* It seems to me that a lot of people are upset because the film doesn't use the same old conventional norms of wagging a finger at this behavior and instead tries to take a much more provocative (albeit controversial) approach. Scorsese is trying to change the form (whether successful or not) and in turn has started a fascinating conversation about people like Jordan Belfort. I definitely think Martin Scorsese is trying to make audiences angry with this film. It just seems they're more angry at him than Jordan Belfort.

* Please stop with this archaic film-school term, "character development." Believe it or not, some people go through life without any introspection, without ever changing. Are we not allowed to make films about those people? At the end of Dr. Strangelove, have any of those characters gone through any sincere change? The world is suffering from a nuclear holocaust and they're having an absurd conversation about procreation. The same "procreation obsession" that lead to nuclear war in the first place. Zero hint of any humility, wondering how they let it all happen. There are countless examples of successful films where characters go through zero character development. Those also tend to be films indicting the characters. (Speaking of Kubrick, I'm pretty sure A Clockwork Orange is told from the sole perspective of one despicable character, basking in the joy and ecstasy of his actions. Kubrick was passionately attacked by critics and audiences for "condoning" acts of violence.)

* I have often wondered, what is more deserving of praise… A perfectly made, great film, that recycles that same old conventional storytelling techniques? Or the film that tries to do something different, change the form, tell a story in a novel way, but fails?

I don't know if Wolf of Wall Street succeeds or fails, but it's got us talking more than any other film this year.

Rudy

Leo just sold ONE of his houses for $18million. He has had an endless string of supermodel girlfriends. Obviously he identifies with this guy, even subconsciously, and that's why the movie glorifies his lifestyle.

gedronlacy

Stop folks…it was a great film. If one is too holy to view it then keep your asses home. C+ score..whatever. One of the best films of the year in my opinion. Thank you Marty and Leo for creating a look into self infliction because frankly if i see one more super hero film i am going to barf…Art? That is purely money…Break the rules!!! Make films with interesting stories. Stories that push the boundaries of what we can conceive and what we are use to seeing. Happy New year!!

steve barr

Congrats Marty ! Wolf has just become the feature with the most f-words in history with 506 add to that 422 from Casino , 300 from Goodfellas and 257 from The Departed . That's almost 1,500 F-words . Happy New Year Marty you are one suave F-word .

Blake

What makes me nauseous is Leo trying to lecture America about morals. Barf. Go off on your yacht full of supermodels and huckster for that monster but for all that is holy, don't have the nerve to MORALIZE while you do it.

Alex

A 3-hour, $100-million critique of gluttony and greed.

Leeman brothaz

The film did not transcend the underlying theme that greed is not good – it transcended that greed is good! There wasn't enough character arc and development but just wild entertainment. Perhaps it's because they didn't want to do a traditional film…however it comes across that they were glorifying this character. While "Wall Street" glorified Gordon Gekko, it had a theme, a moral to the story as seen in the character arc of Bud Fox. This movie didn't show us anything new and if anything, tried to show us the same old material we already know about Wall Street's greed and over-lavish life style. For a finance guy like me, it was just fun and wild entertainment.

cholly

The film is aimed at politically uninformed people and Martin Scorsese fans who in their fandom are unaware of the depths of mediocrity his work has fallen into in the last 20 years. The amount of excusing and apologizing for it is disgusting. But I suppose that is to be expected. Hollywood isn't used to people challenging it.

speaker

I find some of the critisism for this movie immature. I don't think we saw the same movie. People throw things and they don't seem to know anything. this movies clearly shows that there is nothing to be proud of by leading this type of life.

swing

Films like those are important. There are people like this in the world, they truly exist. I'd rather see a really well crafted film like this to open my eyes than a hypocritical hollywood movie with a stereotyped narrative that suffocates its characters and lead them in a phony path they haven't understood just to look politically correct. This film doesn't say: I'll try and fit into a mold to please you. It's opening doors for different types of stories. From afar, hollywood is scary because there seems to be less and less freedom to create. it's sad. So I really enjoyed this one because it was so different.

roll

When I saw it, I had the best time! Couldn't wait for people to stand up and not make movies like everybody else. I also think some people in Hollywood will feel jealous of not being apart of it because it's very innovative!!!

how

Incredible, incredible film. I think the people who look at it and want to act like those characters or see them as big time stars have got it wrong. If they are attracted to that, it means that they don't have enough judgement to see this kind of lifestyle from a distance. I loved this film and I was repulsed by their attitude. people have to learn how to watch movies and have to ask themselves why they find it attractive when it clearly shows unhappy people in society trying to feed off other people's hardwork. I think Martin scorsese is the best. he is truthful.

sicii

"Wolf" truly shows all the things that have been thrown at us since the early 90s….
It's completely different from the clichés of Hollywood.
It just shows you that those kinds of people exist, that it's not because they work in an office that they are necesserely reliable and serious. You have to keep an eye on people, and it's not because they are in a certain social position that they deserve to there or got there by being honest and working hard. A lot of movies from hollywood are horrible and yet, it's presented in such a phony way that you believe those are good values. this movie takes you backstage and puts everything upfront sort of saying; there it is, with the good, the bad, the ugly etc… it's honest and love that

pol

"It's not an artist's job to project a social message onto people. "

Apparently you didn't get it either. That's exactly the artist's job. If he hadn't, we wouldn't be talking about it.

Wolf: Scorsese's Best Film?
http://wp.me/pwAWe-3dF

tyty

this movie is amazing!!!!

Fellow

It has weaknesses that Marty's movies usually don't. Script, story. Excessively long takes. The fact that Leo did the commercial is the real moral dilemma. That became a problem when Leo started talking. You can't claim to be criticizing a guy you're promoting.

Robert

It's not an artist's job to project a social message onto people. Jordan is clearly a despicable person which is clear to anyone with a brain in their head and if the audience can't see that, it's their problem. I don't think people really understood how dark the ending was. Actually among the bleakest movies I've seen in a long time, even for Scorsese; however, this is far more subtle than something like Goodfellas and Taxi Driver. While everyone is saying it "glorified" his behavior, please explain how you came to that conclusion. Yes, the party scenes are funny and entertaining, but he is clearly stealing money from average Americans, he rapes and beats his wife, and could have possibly hurt his daughter and killed others driving home on drugs. I really don't see that as glorification. Not to mention he feels no remorse for what he has done (in similar vain to Goodfellas), that is how he is. He doesn't care. YOU and I might but the real people on Wall Street do not. Glorifying what he had done would have resulted in him actually caring and regretting that he's a thief so the audience feels some kind of sympathy for him and there you go his wife forgives him. Thing is, he only cared because he got caught.

And to the ending. People look at this character as if it they could never do something like that. That they could never become THAT greedy and self obsessed. And yet, then ending proves that wrong. Everyone is capable of it and that fact that he has a whole audience watching him at the end that wants to become just like him, they know what he's done, they know what happened to him, and yet they, average people, still want the lifestyle he had. And here's the kicker, the closing shot is an image of the audience, like a mirror, looking right back to the real audience suggesting that under the right circumstances, anyone can do horrible things. Because you know some people are going to walk out of this movie and want to become just like Jordan.

Concluding that this is just a movie that displays the elegant and attractive lifestyle of Wall Street brokers seems to me like a really shallow and dull viewing of this movie. But to each their own.

Nick

I just saw it last night. I feel like the easiest way to look at the film and it's flaws is to compare it to Goodfellas. Jordan Belfort and Henry Hill aren't all that different from each other. Both show the grandiose highs that they reach. Both act in morally reprehensible ways to get ahead. Both even "sell out" their friends in the end. The difference to me, is that when Henry Hill commits his crimes we are very aware of the consequences. People are beaten up, murdered, go to jail, etc. In The Wolf, there are no consequences until the guy from The Walking Dead goes to jail for 3 months – but then he gets out and boom, right back to hookers and blow.

It's sex, drugs, and wild extravagence for 2 hours and 45 minutes, and in the last five minutes he gets a divorce, hits his wife, steals his kid, crashes his car, goes to jail… Except we barely see him in jail, and then he goes right back to making money hand over fist. I guess that's supposed to be a commentary on our incredibly weak justice system, but there's so little time spent talking about it it seems more like an afterthought. How much money did he ultimately lose? Why was it so easy for him to pay off people in prison? How did he pull that off? How long did the people he ratted on go to jail? How many of their clients went bankrupt because of his practices?

He spends the whole movie winning, then wins some more. The end.

hank

why wasn't Goodfellas about the victims?

Jimmy

I'm kind of ashamed that all of you people are so quick to universally hate this movie, as if it is any different than "Goodfellas" or any other landmark film that was hated upon release but then universally loved in the future. While we continue to criticize this, lets think back on "Fight Club" and its "warped" message, lets think of any Lats Von Trier film that has been release…Do you really think that the reason this movie was made is to glorify living a life of greed and hedonism? Have you completely forgotten all of the essential Scorsese films that have had themes that range throughout the entire spectrum? It's sad that Dicaprio has to justify to his audience why he decided to star in a particular movie, that many people are walking away from and realizing its message. If you walk out of the theater thinking Belfort was a hero and inspired by his life, that's your fault. My friends and I all loved it and all laughed about how ridiculous Belfort was as a character because we didn't see it as a literal film. We saw the things he did as absurd and judged his character based on those actions. All the moviegoers complaining about the films existence should do the easiest thing they can: Not see it! Maybe the movie will not make a profit and Red Granite will no longer take risks on films like this but by discouraging other people from it is ridiculous. It's a movie and audiences should be able to decide for themselves how they perceive Belfort's actions to be.

Carbonna

It's a movie. Not great and not horrible. It started fairly strong but lost steam all the way. Some of the dialogue was actually laughable, (not in a good way) which surprised me. A lot of scenes should have been shortened. Way too long.

christian slater

"This film may be misunderstood by some…" Sounds like the film was designed to be different things to different people. That hardly takes it off the hook from glorifying one of the most heinous crimes in our culture. On one hand the film looks to play to the callous, obscene genre of comedy that Jonah Hill is well established in. On the other, it's supposed to be seen as "art" by Scorsese afficianados. Careful though, cineastes are aware of a thing called socialism/Marxism, (at least I would hope they are).

Bonnie

Please spare me your self-congratulatory explanations, Leo. This movie does NOT "explore human nature". That would require some degree of artful reflection. It simply sensationalizes and depicts it. Then hopes to be rewarded financially for it by the very same audience who were already screwed over in the original story. So now, this person has allies who sensationalize him. I am completely disgusted. How clueless can these people be? This movie is by the rich for the rich.

Enzo

The problem is that although Scorsese doesn't have a lot of weaknesses as a director,this movie emphasizes all of them. The plot and character development are both nonexistant, so the audience is relegated to watching a lot of mannequins pose. It's like being forced to look at endless fashion magazine shots for three hours. No content. Three hours! Endless. Maybe if you're in fashion school….

Morff

The fact that Leo would actually feel that he is entitled to speak as any sort of moral arbiter shows that he is utterly deluded. There isn't a more self obsessed, vain, serial model-dater in Hollywood.

Shit

I haven't seen the movie yet but read a lot of reviews. It's not the first time irony don't catch on some of the viewers for simple reason that the movie has a far more vast audience then say Spring Breakers. Do you really want this movie to be on the nose on the consequences on the actions of those bankers? I mean, look around you, maybe, for the consequences! Those bankers don't give a shit, and haven't gave a shit since forever and I bet the same people that give this movie shit are the same that look at the occupy wall street movement looks of disdain. They didn't get the movie and didn't like it and they spoke out loud about the issues they found in it. That's good enough for me. They wanted to empathize with victims to feel better about themselves not being alone maybe. But guess what, I bet they didn't like feeling weird empathy with the bankers that just wan't to have fun. This the problem with the USA, they don't see themselves as the victims, but as the ones that didn't have the chance to party hard with the bankers. Most of the people got it, the bankers are sociopathic animals. And there's little we can do about it and the deception some people feel watching it happen for three hours is nothing compare to the minutes stack on one another that others depressed themselves just thinking about it every goddam day for decades.

David Rakowiecki

How many "horror" and serial killer themed movies glorify torture and murder in the way they are shot and no one complains about them?

Filmcrit

If you look over Scorses's body of work, it is clear that he is fascinated by wild narcissistic psychopaths. Rather than condemning them, he celebrates them and their amoral lives of using and destroying other people. No way to wiggle out of that when the valid criticism comes.

Sort Of

Yes, there are times when I can see Wolf of Wall Street not condoning what it shows on screen. The best instances I can think of are the ones where the traders are compared to animals. The title alone refers to Jordan as an animal, and there's also that lion that opens the film. There's even a part where there's faint roaring in the background of one scene. (I think that's during the part where the woman agrees to shave her hair for money, but I can't remember for sure.)

I just don't think there's enough of that in the film to say that the whole film is an indictment of Jordan. I'm not expecting Spring Breakers-style irony in every film, and I definitely don't expect Scorsese to lead me through the film. I do expect, however, that the visuals would say more than they did in Wolf, which is what really let me down about the film. If you look at Raging Bull, the visuals are what make the film critical of its protagonist. If you look at Wolf, I'm not sure if you can really tell anything from the visuals. The visuals are what should've helped his audience to know that this was an indictment rather than entertainment here. So I do think the film is MEANT as an indictment, but it's not successful enough from a filmmaking perspective to actually ever become one.

jenny

Spin Leo, spin!!

No

Yet, he did an endorsement for Jordan Belfort. See "Leonardo DiCaprio on Jordan Belfort: Entrepreneurial Icon and Motivational Leader" on YouTube.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *