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The Wolf of Wall Street

MacGuffin · 155 · 41633

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Reply #150 on: May 04, 2014, 01:21:47 PM
The biggest criticism toward the film has been that those characters are not interesting enough to warrant the attention given to them, as if that's not a viewer's choice. It reminds me of the Raging Bull criticisms about Jake LaMotta, back when those characters weren't usual in movies: "why would I care about a cockroach like LaMotta?", and Scorsese's response, "because he's human".

I not only believe is a worthy subject, but is THE SUBJECT to deal with when observing the world of the first years of the 21st century,

Thereís a difference between an unlikable but interesting character and an uninteresting rendering of an unlikable character. Belford was a greedy Wall Street schmuck, but I donít think anyone here went into the movie thinking we didnít want to see a story about him. I agree with the criticisms that the characters in Wolf are uninteresting, but it has nothing to do with the subject matter or source material, which is extremely rich and full of complex avenues to explore, and everything to do with the quality of writing about it. The importance of the subject matter itself doesn't act as a substitute for drama.

When Doyle says the movie isn't engaging us in anything important, I think he's more referring to the angle the movie is coming at the material at. Is the story engaging us in the strongest, most truthful conflict here, is what I thought he was trying to say.   


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Reply #151 on: May 05, 2014, 10:19:01 AM
My life is perpetually trying to catch up with movies released 6 months ago...

I'm not offering any critique of this film, just my personal opinion.

I hated this. Watched just shy of 2 hours on Saturday night and initially intended to finish watching it on Sunday night but realized that I had absolutely no desire to other than to watch these characters get punished. Ultimately decided I'd wasted enough of my life on this. Was way too crude for my taste. Obviously we're not supposed to root for any of these characters, but I didn't feel there was anything interesting or substantial about any of them that made me want to invest in their story - even if it was to root against them. Leo deservedly didn't win any awards for this. Of the two hours I watched, I felt they could have easily edited it down to 45-50 minutes and have a better end product. Not for me.


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Reply #152 on: May 05, 2014, 10:22:37 AM
You watched it with your wife, didn't you?
Ever have a feeling and you donít know why?


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Reply #153 on: May 05, 2014, 12:12:37 PM
Lol, yes I did. But dude, I wasn't enjoying it. I wouldn't have if I watched it on my own. I dunno, maybe if it was 5 years ago I would have. It was just too excessive for me. But even aside from all that, I just couldn't find anything about it I liked. And I wanted to like it. Didn't.


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Reply #154 on: May 08, 2014, 01:11:54 PM
goddamn it, I just don't have time to answer this properly right now.
suffice to say, subject matter is not a replacement for interesting portrayal. but to me this approach is what makes the film bold and interesting. I wasn't expecting the film to go for this kind of thing, and by doing that it became more a give and take game with the audience instead of an observational document on people like belfort. the risks of this are obvious, people like sleepless just can't take this assholes, it's a much more visceral reaction than what we could have if the film asked us to have more empathy with them.

I mention this too because even though I talked earlier about what Scorsese said in relation to Raging Bill ("because he is human") I don't think he's approaching Belfort or any of the other characters like that. He doesn't give them any dignity, as I remember the film. Every word that comes out of Belfort's mouth is turned on it's head. It's a more ambitious narrative, where we see everything from Belfort's POV while at the same time the film forces us to see things from the outside (what that review referred to as a "Godlike" contemplation). Perhaps Scorsese is way too angry about all of this to permit himself the sympathy he had for Henry Hill or other anti-heroes.

This is why I thought of BuŮuel and The Exterminating Angel. The film it's almost surreal in it's endless loop of debauchery. Fun gives way to boredom, and then to horror. Just how much more drugs and parties can these people have before they get it? When are they going to think of the people they leave behind? Where is the conscience? When it finally happens, and they touch bottom, the real horror comes out: they don't learn a thing, and there's a multitude out there willing to make it all happen again for themselves.

of course I understand approaches like this are risky, and people can be turned off, but that's what real artists do with expectations. as for chris doyle, he's always been an overrated douchebag, so everything he says is kind of lame.