At long last, it appears that Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” is hitting the big screen.
The trailer makes the movie look like plenty of fun. It’s loaded with the tropes of Wall Street movies—drugs, beautiful women who appear to have post-modern sensibilities, luxury means of transportation, men behaving badly, money raining through the air. But these aren’t so much clichés as allusions or even formal aspects of the medium—what rhyme once was to poetry. The test of the artistry will depend on the how well the forms are executed.
The movie is based on a book by the same title by a nasty piece of work named Jordan Belfort, who was convicted of swindling investors out of more than $100 million while he ran a pump and dump brokerage operation that went by the by the improbably WASP-y sounding name Stratton Oakmont.
In other words, Hollywood hates Wall Street at a deep, personal level. Ironically, Wall Street doesn’t mind this very much. Each of those movies I named above—”Wall Street,” “Boiler Room,” “American Psycho”—are loved by many who work on Wall Street. No doubt “The Wolf of Wall Street” aims at entering the pantheon.