Does It Matter Who The ‘Real’ Wolf Of Wall Street Is? (Nope)


This week on the LA Weekly blog Christina McDowell attempts a takedown piece on The Wolf of Wall Street based on the fact that her father (a colleague of the film’s main character) was corrupt and a liar.

She says to the filmmakers:

You people are dangerous. Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees.

Is it shocking to anyone that real life is less glamorous than a movie portrayal? Nope. That’s actually the entire purpose of having a movie portrayal, we all get enough glib reality in our everyday life. If it wasn’t entertaining, if it wasn’t something people were interested in viewing, they wouldn’t sell any tickets.

To the film’s star, Leonardo DiCaprio, she says:

You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal

Which doesn’t really make sense because portraying someone as an actor isn’t the same as endorsing their behavior. No one thinks that.

McDowell’s story has been spread around the web this week as people put down the movie because of the story behind it. I personally can’t stand this type of inconsistent application of morality because the end goal of it is to look good in the eyes of others, not to actually do any kind of good or avoid real wrong-doing. Internet outrage is always thinly-veiled slacktivism. The truth is that we support corrupt people and corporations all the time. If you’re the exception to the rule and live off the grid deliberately avoiding any product who’s production company or advertising firm or investors ever did anything bad, by all means, be upset about this movie. Otherwise, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter who the ‘real’ wolf of wall street is. No one in 2013 mistakes a Hollywood blockbuster for a documentary, any outrage over the movie only questions the intelligence of their audience.