Director Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” opened on Christmas Day with $9.2 million at the box office and has already been nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical.
But not everyone is amused by the antics depicted in the movie, a morality tale set against the backdrop of the 1980s stock market bubble and based on the real-life misadventures of convicted stock cheat Jordan Belfort. Christina McDowell, née Prousalis, whose own father, Tom Prousalis, worked with Belfort and was eventually convicted for his own role in their firm's crimes, wrote an open letter to the moviemakers -- and Belfort -- that was published in the LA Weekly on Thursday, taking aim at the film’s backers and accusing them of glorifying Belfort’s actions.
"I drove a white Range Rover in high school, snorted half of Colombia, and got any guy I ever wanted because my father would take them flying in his King Air. And then I unraveled the truth. The truth about my father and his behavior: that behind all of it was really just insidious soul-sucking shame masked by addiction, which we love to call ambition, which is really just greed. Greed and the desire for fame (exactly what you've successfully given self-appointed motivational speaker/financial guru Jordan Belfort, whose business opportunities will surely multiply thanks to this film)."
Though the elder Prousalis was not depicted in the movie, Scorsese and the film’s stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, are guilty by association, she explains, for aligning themselves with an accomplished criminal in Belfort and “exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior.”
Yahoo Finance has reached out to McDowell for a comment on her post and will update this story with her thoughts if she responds.
“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.”
What do you think? Does McDowell have a point that films like “The Wolf of Wall Street” glorify the bad behavior of criminals like Belfort?