The Wolf of Wall Street

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Margot Robbie

Sentence Summary: The unabashed tale of hedonistic scoundrels.

One of the best parts is Jonah Hill and his iridescent teeth

Jonah Hill and his iridescent teeth

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)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3mcPej60pc

Photo courtesy of Internet Movie Database (imdb.com)

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16 thoughts on “The Wolf of Wall Street

  1. To start you should know I’m not a huge movie buff. I actually walked out of the theatre when watching this one. Perhaps I should have done a little more research before entering, but the money lost didn’t really bother me. What did was the repetitive immorality. No matter what point is trying to be made, I personally don’t need the visual aid of incessant debauchery. I found it to take over, not benefitting my experience in any way. It distracted, and I don’t think I need to justify my choice to leave.

    However, I understand Scorsese’s choices. He’s Scorsese. I also hope that those who do enjoy watching true stories of filthy lives think as critically about them as you did in your post, and have intelligent conversations about what is really going on here. Truth shouldn’t be lost at the expense of humour and hookers. As well-depicted as the story may be.

  2. Thankyou, all this PC sh*t is the reason so many idiots say this country is post-racial. Great Movie…I loved it, I think it exposed the system rather than demonizing the wallstreet dudes….which is more effective IMO.

    • I know what you mean, Mr. Perfect. Political correctness is something that I really have a problem with in some instances because it can often result in ignorance instead of solutions.
      In regards to the movie, I totally loved how they created it. It really made me think about the morals of the “American Dream” lifestyle, but at the same time the characters were, like you said, not demonized, but fascinating (still in a kind of appalled fascination sort of way for me though).

  3. I can actually totally see why you (and others probably) might have chosen to walk out, Tessa! This movie is so rude and blunt; even for me I think the only reason I was able to enjoy it was because I knew that before going into it. I wasn’t even planning on seeing it but I finally broke down and did it, so by that point I was ready to be confronted by terrible characters.
    The main problem that I can see with this movie is that some people may miss the point that it is trying to make, because like you said, there is such a focus on the terrible things that these characters do. It could almost appear to be glorifying this awful lifestyle.
    I don’t know, it is definitely a unique and controversial movie, to say the least… and definitely not for everyone!

  4. I’m with you, lady. People have been criticizing his depiction of women in this movie. While there is a lack of female characters, it’s only because that is what’s true to the story. Adding women for the sake of it would be taking away from Belfort’s character – most of the women he hung out with were probably in the sex industry.. And when his wife finds him cheating with Margot Robbie, she freaks out in the street, hits him, takes the kids, and is never seen from again. To me, that’s a strong character. If she would have stayed and fought for their clearly failing marriage where he treats her like shit, that would have lessened her in my mind.

    I love that Scorsese is not afraid to show you the corruption in the world. He’s almost saying that we need to stop turning a bind eye to it in reality.

    Also, I would never see this movie with any member of my family.

    • I agree, even Margot’s character had her strong attributes (even though she was definitely a gold digger).

      Haha and I know! I was sitting next to an elderly couple in the theatre and they did not seem very impressed.

  5. I think that this movie did a great job of showing how black a man’s heart gets when he has EVERYTHING he wants without any reliance on God, the love of a good woman, or anything resembling a moral code. Movie could have been 45 minutes shorter, but I enjoyed it. Not my favorite Scorcese film, but I enjoyed it.

    • Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it, and I totally agree. I think that one of the main reasons some people didn’t enjoy it is because they interpret it in a different way. But yes, it was definitely a long movie!

  6. I really enjoyed reading your opinion on this! And i think your definitely right in your view that just because sexism isn’t something that the majority of people want ‘promoted’ doesn’t mean the facts of Belforts life should portrayed more innocently! I think if a biography isn’t offending someone then something is definitely being hidden!

    • Thank you! I completely agree; it really bothers me that people keep saying that this movie condones sexist behaviour because if that’s how these characters behaved, then they don’t deserve to be given any breaks by hiding that. Plus it’s not like any of the characters were rewarded for their bad behaviour in the end.
      On a side note, I read the other day that one of the brokers that worked with Belfort, Andrew Greene, is suing for defamation of character, saying that he is nothing like his character. I doubt he’ll have much luck with that!
      Thanks for reading!

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