To say people are divided about Martin Scorsese's newest movie, "The Wolf of Wall Street," would be an understatement. The movie about debauched Wall Street swindler Jordan Belfort and his cronies has viewers and critics practically coming to blows over whether or not the movie glorified Belfort et al or if it was meant as satire. For instance, this account of Wall Streeters at an advanced screening for "Wolf" is pretty damning. On the other hand, there are plenty of rational, intelligent adults who see the movie as a not-so-subtle indictment of the behavior it illustrates.
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Over at Deadline.com, star and producer Leonardo DiCaprio weighed in on the controversy. DiCaprio responded that he, Scorsese, and screenwriter Terence Winter "very consciously wanted this to be an analysis of the temptation and intoxication of the world of money and indulgence and hedonism."
Comparing it to the sort of drug use and abuse that Belfort and his pals take part in, DiCaprio added, "To me, if you're an audience member, you want to be completely submerged in the actual film. 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."
DiCaprio was emphatic that "Wolf" isn't supposed to make Belfort's shenanigans look cool or admirable, though. "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. These people are what they are and we didn't want to give them any false sense of sympathy," he told Deadline.
Belfort has said that he won't be receiving any money from the movie. However, he is shopping around a reality TV show where he plays a sort of life coach for those "who, like him, have hit rock bottom but still hold out some hope for redemption." However you feel about "Wolf," perhaps we can all agree that's some must-miss TV.