Wolf of Wall Street: sure, Scorsese, you say that you are villainizing. But how exactly do you go about making the famously rich look miserable? Sure they are, but aren’t we all? I’d rather be miserable with a Porsche than miserable in a Tercel.
I’m thinking about Wolf along with Sophia Coppola’s recent Bling Ring. I enjoyed both, mostly, although Coppola’s had a fresher and more honest take on the subject. But where they both failed is moralizing or villainizing about the subject matter. Both pretend to be fascinated but appalled, but it doesn’t really come through. Why not just own up to it?
Bling Ring was like a fashion magazine brought to life. The montages of fabulous, expensive things was overwhelming. It was impossible to not want Orlando Bloom’s box of Rolexes or all of Paris Hilton’s wardrobe. And it was hard to hate the kids for helping themselves so brazenly to it all.
Same with Wolf. Sure, really bad, depressing things happen in the movie. The jail time seems like a subtitle. But how bad can it be when the climactic scene of Jordan and Donnie, out of their minds of quaaludes, try to have a serious conversation about the FBI, and it’s hilarious. Seriously the best scene of the film and very funny. Sure, Donnie almost dies, but that’s hilarious too.
Challenge: find me a movie that’s about the dangers and pitfall of vast wealth and privilege that actually makes you not want to be rich.