The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), directed by Martin Scorsese

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There’s all this chatter going on right now about whether or not The Wolf of Wall Street endorses the excesses of its characters. Worried anxious chatter. Is the nudity justified? Is Jordan Belfort being treated as a misunderstood hero? Why is there not a clear moral stance taken? Why are we subjected to the sight of all those naked women and also dwarf-tossing and drug use without the film telling us that all of this is wrong? It’s misogynistic. It’s disgusting. Why do we want to see more films about bad people? Doesn’t the film admire Jordan Belfort, just a little bit? Aren’t we all just so sick of women being objectified in film? Aren’t we tired of it?

I’ll tell you what I’M tired of. I’m tired of conversations like this.

To quote the title character of Christopher Durang’s Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You: “Children, you are making me so sad.”

I wrote about this once, a while back, in terms of the brouhaha about the “date rape” shown in Observe and Report (one of my favorite films of 2009). It is a moment that is played for laughs, at the same time that it is clearly horrifying. There was so much controversy about that scene. Was it technically a date-rape? Doesn’t her final comment in the scene put another spin on it? Was what he did over the line? She clearly couldn’t consent, she was too wasted, so, by its very nature, that WAS a date rape. And on and on the arguments went. People who liked the movie but still felt queasy about that scene (and, duh, you should feel queasy) tried to make a case that it WASN’T date rape, because of such-and-such a reason, but that all seemed a bit too high-maintenance for me.

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My opinion about the controversy was basically: Who cares if it WAS a date rape? Are you actually saying that date rape should not be shown in cinema, unless it is depicted as a clearly and unambiguously Bad Thing? Is that what you’re saying? You want an arrow pointing down at the scene saying: DON’T DO THIS? So, basically, what you want then is to kill art. To kill ambiguity and irony. Not to mention one of our most precious assets as a human race, our senses of humor. Date rape sucks and is awful. Does that mean it should not be shown? Or if it is shown, it should only be shown in one way? That scene is not black-or-white. It is totally grey. This made some people crazy. I watched that scene, I laughed uproariously, and I also somehow manage to still remember that date rape is Bad. I also somehow managed to come out of Observe and Report with my moral compass intact. I know. It’s amazing that I was able to do that. I must be some kind of sociopathic mastermind to pull it off.

There was a fandom brouhaha recently about an episode of Supernatural that had similar issues attached to it. There was a sex scene. One character was operating under false pretenses, and withheld vital information, and got the other character into bed. It was a trick. Therefore, according to some people who were horrified by the episode, it had to be rape because consent was not clearly given. This is a valid point for sure, and has also happened at other points during the show. (But again: why should something like that not be shown? It happens in life, albeit without the supernatural element. And it makes sense that it would happen to that particular character in the most recent episode, because he is a newbie and an innocent, and has no idea how to “vet” sexual partners. Not to mention the undeniable fact that I have mentioned before that Supernatural, on a pretty deep level, is ABOUT consent: people get possessed by supernatural beings, they have other entities “in them” without giving permission, and it’s all played up for the sexual connotations of such things – penetration and fears about it, this has been going on from Day One of the series.) The sex scene in question was then followed by the “reveal” of who she really was and then followed by a scene where she physically tortured him, the same guy she just lured into bed. All in all, a clusterfuck. Which it was supposed to be. And then later, the sex part of his encounter was greeted by the Winchester brothers with, “Hey man, congrats, you finally got laid.” Which not only was in character for them, but ridiculous. Like, really, boys, that’s your reaction? The guy was just tortured! But of course both Sam and Dean are going to gawk about the sex part and stop dead in their tracks to want to know all the details. I bought it completely. Supernatural is often both consistent and ridiculous at the same time; it’s part of its wacky charm.

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The fact that the show did not point an arrow down at the sex scene saying: “He was not able to properly consent to this; therefore what is going on is BAD” is not a mark against the show. It is a mark FOR the show and its willingness to truck in ambiguity, subtext, and (above all else) humor. Wanting Supernatural to show “correct” ideas in “correct” ways, important concepts such as consent and sexual responsibility, is to honestly not understand what kind of show you are watching. The whole point of the show is to push that envelope. I do understand that these are trigger-y conversations and topics. I sympathize and I have my own triggers that I have to manage. But art is not there to be comfy, cuddly, and protective of your trauma issues. It is there to entertain, to disturb, to illuminate, to push buttons. Asking art to avoid triggers, or to only depict these trigger-y events in specific unambiguous ways, is asking art to neuter itself. I can’t get behind it. I won’t.

I’m being rant-y just because this is an old conversation, and I grew tired of it when I first got wind of it, which was probably around 9th or 10th grade when I first learned that The Catcher in the Rye was one of the top banned books in the country.

It shouldn’t need to be said but I’ll say it anyway: anyone is perfectly free to not like Wolf of Wall Street. And there are certainly valid reasons to dislike it. Stephanie Zacharek is one of my favorite writers working today and her less-than-thrilled review at The Village Voice is an awesome example. She breaks down what doesn’t work for her and why (and got rape threats and death threats for her trouble. Nice.) It is also perfectly valid to not find this type of cinema to be your cup of tea. Some people prefer softer stories, with happy endings. No shame in that, and I love a lot of that myself, and I always well up with tears in the last scene of Notting Hill, so I got you. But I don’t need all stories to operate in that way. I would blow my brains out if all stories operated that way.

To require Wolf of Wall Street to somehow “clue us in” that these guys are villains and not to be admired, is to want it to be a different film. Not to mention the fact that I have no idea how you could sit through that three-hour film and come away with anything other than outright loathing for all of those people. Also: hello, it’s directed by Martin Scorsese. Does he usually work in black-and-white clearly-defined themes? Has he ever? What movies of his have YOU been watching if you think that? These arguments about Scorsese’s subject matter and his treatment of said subject matter go back to his very beginnings as a filmmaker. He makes films about mainly male universes where testosterone rages unchecked, where we can see the dangers of Men operating in their own Belljar. This comes up in film after film after film.

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The protagonist of Taxi Driver is a psycho. And yet we ache for him. And it is nearly impossible to look at him and completely write him off as “He is nothing like me.” Because who doesn’t feel loneliness from to time? And who is to say what loneliness at the level Travis Bickle experiences it can do to anyone? Are you so sure that you could never become Travis Bickle? The film wants you to empathize with him. It wants you to sit in the nasty implications of that empathy. It wants to destabilize you, implicate you.

People yearn to iron out complexity because it is personally triggering for them to witness said complexity. But complexity like this should be triggering. It’s not there to make you feel comfortable, to re-affirm your own prejudices and beliefs, it is not there to provide solace for you in darker moments. Some art acts that way. I cherish a lot of it. But it is not a requirement that ALL art work that way.

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So here’s my brief take of The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Wolf of Wall Street is, primarily, a comedy. It is not a morality tale, it is not a tragedy, it is not a redemption narrative, it is not a serious expose of corruption. The film is a broad almost slapstick comedy about a bunch of terrible people. Every single person you meet (with very few exceptions) is a total assclown. They are sleazy, skeezy, opportunistic, and empty shells of Gaping Need calling themselves human beings. They are also hilarious and every moment is played for laughs (with a queasy underbelly that makes you wonder what the hell you are laughing at: again, this is the point. We are supposed to feel queasy). There are huge scenes in the film that are basically played as out-and-out farce, and Leonardo DiCaprio (never better) has one scene where he downs too many Quaaludes that is already a high watermark in his own career. It’s up there with Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey in terms of physical comedy. It is also awful, the man is OD-ing on a hotel room lobby floor, but watch where it goes. I saw it in a crowded movie theatre and the place went berserk with sustained laughter, myself included. Sure, it’s “not funny”, if you look at it from an upstanding-citizen point of view, but it also is FUCKING HILARIOUS from a performance aspect, as well as a storyline aspect.

I remember once talking with my friend Beth, and she was telling me about a guy she knew, who was a bit of a dim bulb and she defined him thus: “For example, he feels validated by Archie Bunker. Like, he doesn’t get irony.”

So there will be people who go to see The Wolf of Wall Street and perhaps feel validated by what they see. I certainly don’t want to meet such individuals but I am sure they exist. Cocky white guys who like nothing better than to snort coke out of a hooker’s asshole. (I promise that that is the last time that sentence will ever appear on my website. I feel dirty just typing it out, but blame Wolf of Wall Street for that.) Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had no restraint on yourself, monetarily or morally? Wouldn’t it be fun to not have the words “Okay, that’s enough” in your vocabulary? Wouldn’t it be great to let your Id roam free? Women are there to be groped, used, and thrown out. Money is there to be spent on Big-Boy Toys. And look at what happens in the end: Jordan Belfort did jail time but now he’s out and circulating on the lecture circuit. So he WON. Yay!

Sure. There may be those who see the film in that way.

Not my problem. I believe we are all adults who go to R-rated films and the best films leave us room to make up our own damn minds. Because that’s part of being a grown-up.

Leonardo Dicaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street

I thought Jordan Belfort was a horrible human being, and he was also completely entertaining in DiCaprio’s hands. That Quaalude scene feels like it goes on for 25 minutes, and I wished it were longer. Not for one second did I feel that the film was endorsing this guy’s behavior, or celebrating it. But it’s more complex than that because the film is strictly from his point of view: he even talks directly into the camera. So you are forced to see things through his eyes. You are forced to see the world from his jaundiced and corrupt point of view. That’s fine by me. In fact, that’s perfect. It’s why it works. I don’t want cinema to be safe. I want it to be dangerous, to feel free to not say what it means, to use the language of irony, satire, parody, ambiguity, to make its points. I want to meet people I haven’t met before. I want to come out of a movie as if waking up from a dream or a nightmare. Shaking myself back to the everyday reality. The Wolf of Wall Street is long and yet it doesn’t feel long. It shoots itself out of a cannon from the first shot and never stops, never falters, for the next three hours. It is exhilarating, breathless almost, you can’t keep up. The whole thing is on drugs. Which is appropriate since all of the characters are too. Matt Zoller Seitz’s review is superb, and focuses on the addiction aspect. Not to be missed. Glenn Kenny has written two wonderful pieces about the film: The Wolf of Wall Street and More on Wolf of Wall Street, and I also love Richard Brody’s piece in The New Yorker. My good friend Farran recently wrote the cover story for Barron’s on the film, and it is fantastic. There is a lot of great commentary out there about the film, negative and positive, analysis that doesn’t take a simplistic standpoint like I’ve ranted about here. It’s wonderful that a film is sparking such intense discussion.

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23 Responses to The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), directed by Martin Scorsese

  1. CS says:

    Thank you for this. Reading this provides some solace. It’s nice to know that other people are ‘tired’ of these conversations too.

    I wonder how the film’s subject has affected the reaction that you wrote about. In 2014, people across the country have strong feelings about Wall Street/Finance, some that are explicitly political and others that people implicitly carry within. Many people understandably and correctly connect Wall Street behavior to economic problems in their local community. Is it easier to enjoying watching a mob boss in Boston, who isn’t affecting your family, then to watch a trader in New York who is indirectly hurting your community? I wonder how feelings about finance influenced the reaction.

    Conversely, I wonder what the general reaction to this same film would have been in 2006? My sense is that the outrage would be milder. Or, what would be the general reaction to The Departed, if screened in Boston a few decades earlier? I doubt that the soundtrack would be immediately used for every powerplay at hockey games.

    Thank you again for the interesting post. (As always.)

    • sheila says:

      CS – your points about the financial aspect of the story (and why it might not be entertaining to many) are certainly well-taken!!

      Farran’s piece is interesting in that it tackles Belfort’s actual real-life position in Wall Street, which was rather peripheral. HE wasn’t the real problem – he is not representative.

      Scorsese has always gotten outraged responses to his films – their violence, etc., their profanity, their blasphemy, whatever, the guy can’t get a break – but I do think the real problem is his ambiguity. He refuses to moralize. And yet, his films are deeply moral (as most great works of art are). It’s just that they are not a pamphlet about Morality, they are deep works of philosophy.

      And, in general, 90% of the human race can’t handle that. They don’t like it. They gravitate towards either side of the spectrum. They need things to be laid out clearly. They like to cheer when the bad guys go down, they like to cheer for heroes.

      And so they judge Scorsese by the same measuring stick.

      I also never want to hear “I just didn’t LIKE any of those people” used as a critical talking-point ever again.

      Yeah, well, I don’t like anyone in Macbeth either, but doesn’t mean it’s not a great play.

      Thanks for your comment!!

  2. JessicaR says:

    Saw this yesterday and fucking loved it. Yes it’s excessive, that’s the point, the colors, the music, the bodies, it becomes like eating a can of icing – too much and you just want some fresh air, a break from the booming stereos and cocaine piles. But there’s no escape. I think that’s part of the discomfort. We love wealth and bad boys, we encourage and reward them, every inch of our culture is telling these men they deserve this lifestyle. But don’t we want some of that lifestyle too? Queasy is the perfect word.

    And the misogyny is the characters’ not the films’, they don’t even consider women human enough to hate them. And kudos to Margot Robbie for navigating a tricky role, the woman who thinks she’s enough of a tough broad to navigate this world to finally having enough. It was pure cinema and I walked out feeling hung over and wishing I could walk back in to see it all over again.

    • sheila says:

      Yeah, Margot was great. That was a very smart performance.

      And Ms. Thelma, as always, was a genius with the editing. The way some of those scenes were put together, the control of the pace, the moving in and out of perspective – I loved how Belfort’s offices looked like some of the scenes in Playtime (that was my first thought) where the screen is literally crowded with over 100 people, all writhing about and shouting and flinging papers around. Jacques Tati pulled it off in the restaurant scene in Playtime, and you don’t even know where to look so much is going on – same was true here. All of those extras – Extras?? They were iNTEGRAL parts of the film. Every single person who raced by the camera, who shouted into his phone – even if you only saw him for half a second – was fully emerged in that world.

      • sheila says:

        I love that this film even includes a frightening nautical adventure scene! So random. But that’s what life feels like, I bet, when you’re a drug addict, and an Id out of control: every single moment you are trying to cover up for/flee from the bullshit you just flung in the moment before.

        But it’s all played totally straight, totally real, because to Jordan it is real: “We have to get out of here. How bad can the seas be? What’s a little choppy water?”

        BOOM, Thelma quick-cuts to gigantic heaving tidal waves and a thrashing yacht. hahaha. I mean, come on. This is a comedy. People keep wanting it to be All the President’s Men or something. But that’s THEIR problem, not the film’s!

  3. Regina Bartkoff says:

    I agree that the film wasn’t boring, because of the film making, but I didn’t find it funny at all! and it’s pretty easy to make me laugh, (especially at silly stuff) and not because of any moral qualms. Taxi Driver made me laugh, a lot, Daniel Day Lewis was hilarious in Gangs of NY, Goodfellas too, I easily identified with the character in King of Comedy even though the celebrity/worship showbiz world is something that my artist soul wants to transcend. The genius of those performances and characters does it for me. Wolf wasn’t even a guilty pleasure for me. I think DiCaprio is always mediocre to me. I also thought the same about the other actors in Wolf, I guess, they were okay. I was, however, with my daughter, she loved it! loves DiCaprio, so, to each his own!

    • sheila says:

      Regina – thank you for weighing in!

      So was it that you don’t care for Leo, and that was stopping you from finding it funny? Can you elaborate? Or about the other actors? I’m just curious. What was the film’s fatal flaw for you?

      Also, some people just think it is too damn long. I obviously didn’t but I think it’s a valid complaint.

  4. Regina Bartkoff says:

    It’s true I don’t like DiCaprio! But I didn’t like anybody else either! That review from Stephanie Zacharek, nails it for me, and says it better then I can (thanks). I didn’t find Jonah Hill funny or Rob Reiner, or anybody! I don’t know why, I was trying, my kid was laughing next to me, I wanted to laugh with her! I don’t think there was one fatal flaw. It was a little long, but not really, I wasn’t bored, but some depth was missing or insight? I usually love all the minor character’s in Scorsese’s films, some who even have only one line, and they’re memorable, and I go around the house saying them! But thinking on things, another film that didn’t work for me from Scorsese was Casino, and I tried to watch it again and again. I didn’t care about anybody in Wolf or Casino, I did like one performance in Casino, James Woods, who was a total weak asshole, but I believed him, and enjoyed him! Maybe success spoiled Scorsese, maybe a hunger is missing. But I worship Scorsese and subscribe to the French theory that you judge somebody by their best work. He did it! And DeNiro! You can’t take that away from them. I don’t know, in his later films after King of Comedy, except for Goodfellas, something seems flat, or bloated. But his earlier films Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull are among the greatest of all times, I also like his music documentaries especially No Direction Home. One interesting thing on an interview I saw on Charlie Rose with Scorsese and DiCaprio, DiCaprio started to compare Wolf to Dr. Strangelove, saying Dr. Strangelove is a black comedy and a satire the same as Wolf. Scorsese actually interrupted him saying, something like, Sorry Leo, Wolf is not a satire to me, I was exploring a lifestyle and issues I deal with myself.
    Which gave me hope, but I just didn’t feel it, it’s a little mysterious to me what is truth what resonates and what just doesn’t. Sometimes what is funny is something you actually deeply care about or expose something about yourself or human nature and maybe it’s not even funny at the time, actually far from it, only later you can laugh at it and an actor has to really feel that discomfort or horror or embarrassment, maybe this was missing for me.

    • sheila says:

      Regina – thank you for all this. Very interesting!

      Matt Seitz’s point that this is a film about addiction – and so many of Scorsese’s films are (to different things, not just drugs) – and Scorsese was addicted to cocaine so obviously it has some personal aspect to him.

      Leo has been making some comments that are pretty off – but my view of that is: He’s the guy who has to play that guy. Actors are so far “in” it that they often have to take on the viewpoint of the character – it helps them to play it. But I agree that this is not satire – I saw it as straight-up farce. That was how I clicked into it.

      What did you think of Hugo?

      • sheila says:

        Oh and something I just thought of:

        when Tommy Lee Jones came and talked at my school, Jim Lipton asked him about playing Gary Gilmore. “Do you think he should have been executed?” Lipton asked. Jones answered flatly, “I don’t think we executed him soon enough.”

        Lipton then asked, “So do you think you have to LIKE the character you are playing?”

        Jones said, “No. I think you have to want to WATCH the character. You don’t have to LIKE him.”

        I always found that viewpoint very refreshing – which is why so many villains are so cinematically thrilling.

  5. Regina Bartkoff says:

    Yes to what Tommy Lee Jones says! I should have been more clear about that. I meant to say I didn’t like watching them. There are a lot of examples for what Tommy Lee Jones says, James Cagney, for one, I love watching him, don’t have to like the character. Jack LaMotta is another example. how some actors can do that is a kind of mystery, I think Brando once said something like – some actors, the ones you don’t like to watch, their expression is ugly.
    A kind of grace is missing.
    Some actors can play someone ugly and it’s interesting.
    I didn’t like Hugo, I felt it was more about the effects then the heart.
    Not to say that any of this is easy to do! I’m just comparing things that are transcendent to me to things that are not. But what do I know?!

    • sheila says:

      // how some actors can do that is a kind of mystery //

      You said it! So true!

      And of course, some things that “hit” others will leave you cold. Everyone and their mother right now is talking about the transcendent beauty of Her – and I respect and love many of these people – and it left me cold as a stone. I feel left out! :)

  6. CS says:

    On your point about ambiguity, I just remembered a quote that I read on your site years ago from Tennessee Williams:

    “People are willing to live and die without understanding exactly what life is about but they must sometimes know exactly what a play is about.”

  7. Sheila, as always, thanks for this.

    Reminds me of when, in the 90s (I think), some lit critics backpedaled on the excellence of Lolita because, they said, it seemed to glorify pedophilia. Which is certainly true, if the reader is a moron.

    I think the only time I was genuinely offended by a movie was when, in Clockwork Orange, one woman was raped and another was beaten to death with a giant phallus and both were played for laughs. And actually, the offense wasn’t caused so much by that as by the fact that Alex’s state-sponsored tortures weren’t also played for laughs. Writers need to pay as close attention to what they present straight as to what they satirize.

    Still, it’s always bothered me that I got so bothered by it. I’m most often offended by people who go around getting offended, as, I take it, are you. Do you think I missed something? Have you discussed Clockwork Orange? I’ll have to look around…

    • sheila says:

      Lolita is a great example. That book is super destabilizing, for sure. But anyone who thinks it glorifies Humbert Humbert can’t understand it – they just don’t want it “out there” for the gullible public who might take it the wrong way. Ugh!!

      Clockwork Orange is not really my cup of tea – although I haven’t written anything about it! The scene you mention is horrifying – and of course it’s supposed to be so – and there may be things I am missing as well. The whole movie is so unfailingly nihilistic.

      I’m mostly offended about women’s sexuality being used as a punchline, or as shorthand. When something is LAZY I don’t forgive it. When it’s easier to go with a cliche rather than a truth, I get pissed off. Lots of current rom-coms go that route – and it just adds a layer of toxicity to the culture that I can’t stand.

      I don’t need art to reflect “the way things are” – because of course that’s relative. Reality is one way to me, and another way to Jordan Belfort. To the guys in Wolf of Wall Street, women are there to be used and thrown out. They may love having sex with them, but they’re actually quite grossed out by them. What matters is MEN. They basically all want to fuck each other. This is certainly a reflection of a type of man, a type of world, and it’s Scorsese’s bread and butter. I don’t think the film is meant to be realistic but you are certainly thrust into that point of view for three hours – it’s quite compelling!!

  8. Regina Bartkoff says:

    I think I know what you’ll are saying. I get upset and pissed off with Straw Dogs (the original) In the rape scene, not the rape actually, but the line that crosses into where the woman starts to LIKE it. (and I’m also too, bothered by that I’m upset by it) I’m always saying, that’s a fantasy for women! We don’t actually want to be raped deep down inside! And my husband is always saying, Yeah, but that’s a man’s fantasy that a woman will actually LIKE it. But it doesn’t take away that I think Straw Dogs is a well made movie, or that I would want to have it censored and be all politically correct even though it’s not my cup of tea.

    • sheila says:

      These are all great points!

      I hope it’s clear that my attitude is not “people need to chill out about things that make them uncomfortable.” Like I said, I have my triggers and I need to watch out for myself and avoid things that will trip them off. And then sometimes, everyone is outraged by something that I find HYSTERICAL – for example the “We Saw Your Boobs” number in last year’s Oscar ceremony. My friend Jen and I were literally crying with laughter, gales of laughter – I adored it, thought it was hilarious. Pretty much every woman I am friends with on Facebook went into apoplectic fits about it. I didn’t tell them NOT to feel that way, although I certainly won’t be bullied into thinking my opinion is wrong either. That did not trip off a trigger for me – although when Seth MacFarlane sexualized the little girl nominated for an Oscar, telling her that in a couple of years she would be old enough for George Clooney – THAT pissed me off. Let the child have her innocence. Don’t let her know that all she’s good for is to be a sex-toy for a man – when here she is, an Oscar nom. But “We Saw Your Boobs” was a RIOT.

      So, as with all things, your mileage may vary.

      I don’t like when rape is used as an easy or cheap shortcut in a plot line – similar to how I don’t like it when the Holocaust used as a kind of shorthand. These are serious topics and deserve to be treated as such.

      I do think that sex is a pretty murky area, though – and the rape fantasies you and your husband discussed is a perfect example. You will never please everyone, obviously. And we’re messed up about sex as a culture – and so of course that will make it into various art forms.

      Just want to make sure it’s clear I’m not saying that I think everyone needs to lighten up, and “stop being sensitive” and all of those things that certain types of men throw at women who dare to balk at the blatant objectification going on in our culture. That type of stuff is a silencing tactic and I find it despicable!!

      My real issue was with those who seemed to feel that certain things should not be shown in cinema unless they are shown in a certain way so that we all can be safe and comfortable out there in the audience, cozy in the knowledge that we all share the “correct” attitudes.

      :)

  9. OMG, I love this review, Sheil! Made me laugh out loud! I love your ambivalence about using the phrase “snort coke out of a hooker’s asshole” and also your use of the word “ass clown”. I absolutely love Leo and I am so excited to see him rock this performance.

    • sheila says:

      hahaha Assclowns, all of them!

      I can’t wait to hear your reaction. Wait until you see Leo’s OD scene – it’s a masterpiece – it feels like it goes on forever!

  10. Regina Bartkoff says:

    Not that I’m obsessed about this movie or anything, haha! But I saw an article in today’s NY Post about Jorden Belfort. An ex-girlfriend saying he was probably the most insecure person she knew, obsessed with his figure, spraying his food in the fridge with Windex, so he wouldn’t eat it, lifts in his shoes. And a former business associate, Michael Peragine talking about what a low-life this guy was more details about scamming his own friends out of money, the type to steal pennies off his dead grandmother’s eyes, etc. I was thinking maybe if more of this was in the movie, these little details about his insecurities.
    That the real Wolf is not a cool guy, but a dork, and only his money is giving him power. (I suppose Jonah Hill had that part) I guess I just didn’t feel that in DiCaprio’s performance, at all, like he somehow always has to be the cool guy. I thought DiCaprio showed some of this in the scene, he’s off his mark at bit, uncertain, with Matthew McConaughey, ( and I think maybe this was the best scene in the movie. It’s interesting to me that I’m not half-way about this movie, I do feel strongly that I hated it, and that’s kind of interesting to me since a lot of my friends loved it. I just keep exploring why I hated it so much.

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