Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie
Sentence Summary: The unabashed tale of hedonistic scoundrels.
For my first entry, I am going to look at the highly controversial film, The Wolf of Wall Street, which is based on the real-life tale of Jordan Belfort. This film centres around drugs, sex, and money, and it does not shy away from the real, gritty, dirty nature of these things.
Due to the fact that Scorsese was not hesitant to focus on choices and actions of an… unsavory nature, this film has elicited quite a bit of outrage. One complaint in particular that I would like to focus on is the idea of this film being sexist. Now, before I start, I would like to say that I am, of course, in support of women’s rights and of equality between genders. BUT, I would like to add that I am not afraid to see sexism depicted because the fact remains that sexism has had (and to an extent still has) a powerful impact on the day-to-day lives of women, and refusing to portray it does nothing to encourage the betterment of the lives of women because it is just pretending that the issue is dead or even nonexistent.
The Wolf of Wall Street absolutely shows men treating women like shit; the characters employ a few (hundred?) hookers, cheat on their wives, and lack any real connections with any of the female characters. So, this film definitely has sexist characters, but I have to vehemently argue that the film itself is not sexist. If this movie is sexist, then it is also supporting the morals of drug abuse, lying, cheating, and white-collar crime. Looking closely at this film proves that Wolf offers condemnation for the protagonists’ choices, including vengeance for their lack of respect for women.
Another important thing to consider is the fact that this film is based on a true story, so if Belfort and his friends were womanizing, cheating, sexist assholes then that is how they should be portrayed. If Scorsese had gone with the safe route and cut out some of their degrading, immoral behavior towards women, not only would it be masking the true representation of these characters, but it would be hiding the reality of sexist issues. Political correctness can lead to ignorance of a persistent problem, and I personally respect the bold decision that these filmmakers made to be unabashedly blunt in every aspect.
Anyways, I would love to hear some other opinions on this topic, let me know what you guys think!
Verdict: See it, but be prepared to lose a little bit of faith in humanity.
(then have that faith restored by watching this clip about how un-greedy Jonah Hill actually is)
Photo courtesy of Internet Movie Database (imdb.com)