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Leonardo DiCaprio responds to the controversy surrounding The Wolf of Wall Street

Dec. 30, 2013by: Niki Stephens

Ever since one senior member of the Academy was up in arms after seeing the same "disgusting junk" over and over in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET it all seems to have snowballed. Viewers have been saying that it's not okay to glorify someone like Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), and that his victims don't care to re-live what happened to them. But I think the real question is, when did we all become so offended by everything?

When DiCaprio spoke with HitFix, the controversy surrounding the film was brought to the actor's attention:

HitFix: Well that's what's interesting because, like a great many of Scorsese's movies, this one is being met with a touch of controversy right off the bat for its depiction of excess. There are those who see it as more of an irresponsible glorification than a satirical takedown. What's your response to that?

Leonardo DiCaprio: I think anyone who thinks that missed the boat entirely. I grew up in a generation of watching Marty's movies and when you come from a standpoint of being someone who is so influenced by him and De Niro's work, to hear specific reactions they had to films that, now, as the years roll by — we're all desensitized to those things, you know what I'm saying? To hear that there were any type of reactions that weren't — I'm not saying people should particularly praise this film for that reason, but I think it takes a while to permeate into the culture a little bit. When I see his movies now, it's a shock to me that there was ever any kind of — I mean I listened to stories of "The Last Temptation of Christ." I listened to stories of "Goodfellas" and "Taxi Driver" and even "Mean Streets," but to me they're a classic part of American cinema history that have influenced so many other filmmakers and so many other genres. It's insane.

It's exciting to be a part of a film, in a way, that is kind of bold and is taking a chance like that, and I think that anyone that thinks this is a celebration of Wall Street and this sort of hedonism — yes, the unique thing about Marty is that he doesn't judge his characters. And that was something that you don't quite understand while you're making the movie, but he allows the freedom of this almost hypnotic, drug-infused, wild ride that these characters go on. And he allows you, as an audience — guilty or not — to enjoy in that ride without judging who these people are. Because ultimately, he keeps saying this: "Who am I to judge anybody?" I mean ultimately I think if anyone watches this movie, at the end of "Wolf of Wall Street," they're going to see that we're not at all condoning this behavior. In fact we're saying that this is something that is in our very culture and it needs to be looked at and it needs to be talked about. Because, to me, this attitude of what these characters represent in this film are ultimately everything that's wrong with the world we live in.

DiCaprio nor Scorsese had anything to do with the sentence that was handed down to Belfort. Personally, I don't understand what the problem is. They found a story that was absurd and outrageous that happened to be true then decided to film it in order to shine a light on the matter. Are people upset that it is a true story? If that's the case, why weren't they disgusted by CASINO or GOODFELLAS? Maybe it's the realization that villains wear many different faces.

You tell us. Strikeback below and give us your take.

Source: HitFix

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+0
9:29AM on 01/05/2014
"If that's the case, why weren't they disgusted by CASINO or GOODFELLAS? "

Because the central characters in both of those movies pay for their excesses in the long run. Belfort got 2yrs in jail, and got to keep $100 million of the $200 million he STOLE from his clients. That is the difference. And you should have know that before writing that sentence.
"If that's the case, why weren't they disgusted by CASINO or GOODFELLAS? "

Because the central characters in both of those movies pay for their excesses in the long run. Belfort got 2yrs in jail, and got to keep $100 million of the $200 million he STOLE from his clients. That is the difference. And you should have know that before writing that sentence.
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8:36PM on 12/31/2013
It took him a little bit to collect his thoughts and get to the point, but he got there. I guess Scorsese just likes to be a story-teller, not someone with a story and an agenda towards the characters in his film.
It took him a little bit to collect his thoughts and get to the point, but he got there. I guess Scorsese just likes to be a story-teller, not someone with a story and an agenda towards the characters in his film.
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12:04PM on 12/31/2013

Media Hypocrisy is too rich....

Let's see if I get this straight. ONE report of an academy Member having a meltdown at a film that depicts events that happened in the REAL world, and people are complaining about that. I get it. When Scorsese makes films about EVIL BAD GUYS who are obvious to all, well, that's acceptable, because hey - they're gangsters. BUT...when he dares make a film about some ordinary schmuck who bilked people for god knows how much money, and lived large on that...People don't get what he's doing? Have we
Let's see if I get this straight. ONE report of an academy Member having a meltdown at a film that depicts events that happened in the REAL world, and people are complaining about that. I get it. When Scorsese makes films about EVIL BAD GUYS who are obvious to all, well, that's acceptable, because hey - they're gangsters. BUT...when he dares make a film about some ordinary schmuck who bilked people for god knows how much money, and lived large on that...People don't get what he's doing? Have we devolved that much? Are there that many mouth breathers out there who CAN"T SEE THE CONTEXT??? He's holding a freaking mirror up on ALL of us people! If all those people who got bilked out of their money weren't looking for a way to get rich or richer FASTER, there would be no story. The film is about greed, what that greed can buy, and the consequences. At the end of it , Belfort walks away, with money in the bank, ready to start over. The LAST SHOT of the film tells you everything you need to know. Its not comfy, is it, looking into that mirror and realizing that could be you? Martin Scorsese has never made 'cookie cutter' films, and The Wolf Of Wall Street stands beside anything else he's done. If you can't see past what's depicted on screen ( TRUE EVENTS, BTW) to see how caustic and castigating Scorsese is being about the subject...well, don't bother going if it offends you. There's plenty of mindless Hollywood pap out there to divert your attention.
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9:11AM on 12/31/2013
If Belfort is as rotten as Leo says, and if they are in no way condoning what Belfort did, why did Leo record a 30-second video endorsing Belfort's abilities as a motivational speaker and help promote Belfort's business?
If Belfort is as rotten as Leo says, and if they are in no way condoning what Belfort did, why did Leo record a 30-second video endorsing Belfort's abilities as a motivational speaker and help promote Belfort's business?
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7:43AM on 12/31/2013
Leo was spectacular in the role and I enjoyed it immensely. People are just being trolls as it's so clear what the intentions of the film are right from the start,
Leo was spectacular in the role and I enjoyed it immensely. People are just being trolls as it's so clear what the intentions of the film are right from the start,
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7:34AM on 12/31/2013

I'm offended

that this in the running for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes? WTF?
that this in the running for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes? WTF?
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3:23AM on 12/31/2013
I'm offended when people aren't offended by things that should offend them, but are offended by things that shouldn't offend them.
I'm offended when people aren't offended by things that should offend them, but are offended by things that shouldn't offend them.
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2:42AM on 12/31/2013
Great response by Leo. Best performance of the year so far HANDS DOWN. See it to believe it.
Great response by Leo. Best performance of the year so far HANDS DOWN. See it to believe it.
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+16
1:26AM on 12/31/2013

Wolf is a great film.

Films need not lay its message in your lap. Real movie fan knows this and know smarter films often require as much attention from the viewer as the director has paid. This is called good filmmaking.
Films need not lay its message in your lap. Real movie fan knows this and know smarter films often require as much attention from the viewer as the director has paid. This is called good filmmaking.
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11:49PM on 12/30/2013
What might be doing as much damage is an open letter from the daughter of a former Belfort cohort, accusing Scorsese of glamorizing the lifestyle. That's independent of whatever Academy voters are saying. I really liked the movie while alternately feeling repulsed by its characters. I think telling a personal account of actual fraud on a massive scale can be beneficial, but "Wall Street" inspired generations of brokers, and this one might, too.
What might be doing as much damage is an open letter from the daughter of a former Belfort cohort, accusing Scorsese of glamorizing the lifestyle. That's independent of whatever Academy voters are saying. I really liked the movie while alternately feeling repulsed by its characters. I think telling a personal account of actual fraud on a massive scale can be beneficial, but "Wall Street" inspired generations of brokers, and this one might, too.
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10:19AM on 12/31/2013
Wolf of Wall Street was one of the best movies I've seen all year, just to clarify. In league with Scorsese's earlier work in my opinion, and the best thing Leonardo DiCaprio's done with him. And Leo's response pretty much sums up what fans love about the man's work.
Wolf of Wall Street was one of the best movies I've seen all year, just to clarify. In league with Scorsese's earlier work in my opinion, and the best thing Leonardo DiCaprio's done with him. And Leo's response pretty much sums up what fans love about the man's work.
11:27PM on 12/30/2013

Hype-Building 101

Meh, i really don't get what the fuss is all about coz I don't see what this "controvesy" is all about.
Kind of reminds me of all the hoopla the time The Passion of the Christ came out and I'm not buying into this cheap marketing ploy.
However I will check it out because Leo always delivers.
Meh, i really don't get what the fuss is all about coz I don't see what this "controvesy" is all about.
Kind of reminds me of all the hoopla the time The Passion of the Christ came out and I'm not buying into this cheap marketing ploy.
However I will check it out because Leo always delivers.
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11:25PM on 12/30/2013

Hype-Building 101

Meh, i really don't get what the fuss is all about coz I don't see what this "controvesy" is all about.
Kind of reminds me of all the hoopla the time The Passion of the Christ came out and I'm not buying into this cheap marketing ploy.
However I will check it out because Leo always delivers.
Meh, i really don't get what the fuss is all about coz I don't see what this "controvesy" is all about.
Kind of reminds me of all the hoopla the time The Passion of the Christ came out and I'm not buying into this cheap marketing ploy.
However I will check it out because Leo always delivers.
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+21
11:04PM on 12/30/2013
Fuck the academy, and these douche bag people with nothing better to do than to cry about glorifying Jordan Belfort. Well his end wasn't so glorious, did people get up in arms when Scorsese glorified Henry Hills life in goodfellas? I don't think so!
Fuck the academy, and these douche bag people with nothing better to do than to cry about glorifying Jordan Belfort. Well his end wasn't so glorious, did people get up in arms when Scorsese glorified Henry Hills life in goodfellas? I don't think so!
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9:32AM on 01/05/2014
Hill died a rat. Belfort got 2yrs in jail and got to keep half of the $200 million he stole from his clients.

If you can't see the difference then you are beyond help.
Hill died a rat. Belfort got 2yrs in jail and got to keep half of the $200 million he stole from his clients.

If you can't see the difference then you are beyond help.
10:57PM on 12/30/2013
Between this and the Great Gatsby, Leonardo seems to have become very good at playing characters who revel in excess yet harbour a certain emptiness.
Between this and the Great Gatsby, Leonardo seems to have become very good at playing characters who revel in excess yet harbour a certain emptiness.
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10:41PM on 12/30/2013
And because of this (well, one of the reasons), I hope DiCaprio FINALLY gets his over due Oscar at this years Awards.
And because of this (well, one of the reasons), I hope DiCaprio FINALLY gets his over due Oscar at this years Awards.
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10:47PM on 12/30/2013
He won't get it for this film. The film is too polarizing for the academy. While I did enjoy the film, I don't think it is anywhere near as good as 'Goodfellas". "Wolf" was way too long and could have been trimmed by 40 minutes. "Goodfellas" was a film that every scene was essential to the film.

I really hope he doesn't get Peter O' Tooled in the way he never wins an oscar outside of one for lifetime achievement.
He won't get it for this film. The film is too polarizing for the academy. While I did enjoy the film, I don't think it is anywhere near as good as 'Goodfellas". "Wolf" was way too long and could have been trimmed by 40 minutes. "Goodfellas" was a film that every scene was essential to the film.

I really hope he doesn't get Peter O' Tooled in the way he never wins an oscar outside of one for lifetime achievement.
10:58PM on 12/30/2013
I still think Chiwetel Ejiofor is a lock for Best Actor.
I still think Chiwetel Ejiofor is a lock for Best Actor.
11:27PM on 12/30/2013
Maybe if he did less yelling, he could have a chance. xD
Maybe if he did less yelling, he could have a chance. xD
11:29PM on 12/30/2013
I really hope he or Chiwetel Ejiofor walk away with Best Actor. They both really deserve it.
I really hope he or Chiwetel Ejiofor walk away with Best Actor. They both really deserve it.
10:35PM on 12/30/2013

old goons..

thats why the oscars needs a reboot.
thats why the oscars needs a reboot.
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