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Marshall Fine’s “Wolf of Wall Street” Strays Too Far

In response to Marshall Fine’s 759‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Hollywood & Fine

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In the world of film critique, titles have become an art form of their own and, while Marshall Fine isn’t necessarily known for having the wittiest, you have to admit that the subtitle for Marshall Fine’s review, “‘The Wolf of Wall Street’,” “The Scum Also Rises” is pure brilliance.  

What follows, though, is not some of Fine’s greatest work. This is primarily because he chooses to go down a road that many lesser critics have mistakenly gone down—he critiques the film on the basis that “18-24 year olds. . will mainly come away thinking: Whoa – how do I get a life like that? The money, the sex, the drugs – I want it all, even if it means screwing unsuspecting investors to get it.”

The premise he presents to back up this claim defies logic: “In “Goodfellas,” the bad guys killed people. In “Wolf,” the central characters kill people’s dreams.  That’s a much more insidious proposition.”

What? So, seeing our loved ones brutally murdered is preferable to seeing them financially ruined? It doesn’t hold water and it’s shockingly lazy, especially coming from such a respected figure.

Unlike the amateurs, though, he does manage to ignore moral disgust for a few brief moments to at least provide some other criticisms of the film, a fact that at least rescues some dignity.    

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