Along with Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" is one of the highest profile movies coming this fall that doesn't yet have a festival home. And while that could potentially change with Telluride coming up this weekend (organizers always keep their slate under lock and key until the first day), there is still a movie to market, and today comes another peek at the film from behind-the-scenes.
Vulture has a new look at the movie, which tells the true story of Jordan Belfort, a wheeling and dealing New York stockbroker who lived on the edge and saw his career and personal life fall into shambles thanks to sex, drugs and alcohol. “The book personified America’s addiction to obtaining wealth at all costs, and that hasn’t changed,” Leonardo DiCaprio says about the memoir upon which the movie is based. “He was a small fish in a gigantic pond, and he’d motivate his guys by telling them they were heroes for taking on the big houses. Unregulated Wall Street was like the Wild West.”
Jonah Hill co-stars in the movie playing Donnie Azoff, a high-ranking co-worker of Belfort's who indulged in some truly extreme behaviour. “Marty is brilliant at many things, but one of them is showing people doing things that are morally corrupt and still making them enjoyable to watch. You root for them and adore them in some way—it’s cool and exciting to be doing something wrong,” he said adding, laughing: “Leo and I had numerous conversations while our characters were doing really despicable things. I was disgusted by what I was doing!”
And Scorsese recognizes it's all part of audience getting involved with a film to find this kind of stuff entertaining. “It’s an old story, really: People can take their identification with movies and novels to some alarming places,” the director admits. “Some people might just zero in on the fun, exhilarating side of it. But if you’re putting a world on film, and you’re going to stay true to that world, as opposed to show it from a distance, you’re going to make it attractive and entertaining—and, by the way, the people are entertaining, and they had a great time until they got caught.”
All told, it looks like a pretty captivating tale of hubris, greed, sex and hedonism and we'll see the results on November 15th.