The Wolf of Wall Street filmmaker Martin Scorsese says the criticism around his 2014 stockbroker drama is “beyond boring.”
Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Killers of the Flower Moon, comes to theaters this weekend, but the legendary director is ready to vouch for one of his previous films that’s come under fire. Speaking with Wonka actor Timothée Chalamet for a GQ feature interview, Scorsese defended his 2014 drama, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort. Critics of the film say its excessive and vulgar displays of greed seemingly celebrate the heinous crimes of its lead character, glorifying the act of deceiving innocent victims out of their rainy day funds and life savings. Scorsese disagrees, and he’s got a few words for detractors.
“In the case of The Wolf of Wall Street, for example, I only learned the other day from an interviewer who said, ‘You’re not aware of the war [over] Wolf of Wall Street?,” Scorsese said. “So I said, ‘What are you talking about.’ They said, ‘Well, there was a big screening at Paramount of the picture, for the critics in New York.’ Apparently, I was told this, there were two camps: One camp that loved the picture and the other camp that was furious, saying I didn’t take a moral stand on Jordan Belfort. And one of the critics from the other group that liked the picture said, ‘Do you really need Martin Scorsese to tell you that that’s wrong?’ You really need him to tell you that’s wrong? He knows it’s wrong.”
Chalamet, seizing an opportunity to probe the filmmaker for more information, asked, “Does that moralistic attitude bore you a bit now?”
“It’s beyond boring, I think,” Scorsese replied.
While there’s an argument to be made for glorifying the nefarious actions of a real-world villain, not everything, especially film, needs to wrap things up with a big red ribbon. Sometimes, monstrous acts speak for themselves, and the filmmaker lets the audience determine whether or not a character should be chastised or celebrated. The Wolf of Wall Street is a fascinating portrayal of Belfort’s story, highlighting the wicked stockbroker’s misdeeds as actions that could ruin the lives of uninformed parties. Perhaps Scorsese thought it was enough to show and not tell.
What do you think of The Wolf of Wall Street? Is Scorsese’s 2014 drama devoid of remorse? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.