The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street ½

The Wolf of Wall Street is the most disappointing film of the year for me. It is a film with bad people doing terrible things for three butt-numbing hours. It is a film that asks its audience to laugh at gratuitous and dangerous drug use. It is a film that asks its audience to be entertained by the degradation of women. (Every woman in the film is portrayed as an object.) It is a film that asks its audience to take delight in one man's conniving ways that hurt people. I could not accept what the film asked of me. I was repulsed by everything about it, especially its men's locker room tone and humor.

Unlike filmmaker Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas—a film with bad characters whom you liked in spite of their badness because they possessed a certain charm—none of the characters in The Wolf of Wall Street are likeable, charming, or have a redeeming feature. For this reason, I had difficulty being interested in the true story of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his rise to and fall from wealth.

I am not a prude about sex and drugs in film, and I am capable of laughing at dumb, lowbrow jokes and situations; however, I could not laugh at the material in The Wolf of Wall Street because it insulted my gender and intelligence, and also because I was aware the situations in the film actually happened, which made it all the worse. It is rare for a film to offend me in every possible way a person may be offended, but The Wolf of Wall Street managed to do so.

My friend who attended the screening with me said I had a scowl on my face through the entire film. She generally likes every film she sees (she is not highly critical), and she did not like the film either.

The Wolf of Wall Street will likely appeal only to men who like bro' humor. I caution men who see this film with a woman whom they care about to be very careful about what they say to the woman afterwards.

The only way I could have enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street is if, before the film, I snorted as much coke and downed as many quaaludes as Dicaprio and Jonah Hill do in the film.

EDIT - Please read this:

"An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street" by one of Belfort's real-life victims


Some people argue that Scorsese is not glorifying Belfort's behavior and actions in the film. But, oh, he is! Scorsese glorifies and endorses Belfort's bad behavior by not criticizing Belfort. At no point in the film does Scorsese pass moral judgment on Belfort. Furthermore, he does not show Belfort suffering severe consequences for what he does. What does Scorsese show us as Belfort's "punishment"? He shows Belfort in prison playing tennis! Scorsese glosses over the fact that Belfort served only 22 months of the 4 years he was sentenced to in prison.

All of the terrible things shown in the film are not shown for the purpose of exposing or critiquing them as wrong; they are simply a gratuitous display meant to entertain.

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