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Todd McCarthy’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” Packed With Prey

In response to Todd McCarthy’s 1630‑word review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Hollywood Reporter

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Todd McCarthy’s The Wolf of Wall Street evinces a too-recently bygone era (the 90s) in a context oddly reminiscent of that of the 50s---or even of the 1890s—in which P. T. Barnum and his Todd’s equally shameless namesake Joe McCarthy preyed upon a gullible and largely trusting populace with the avarice of the lupine species of the work’s title.

Another of the seemingly endless real-life financial felons cum inspirational speakers of those roaring times, the Horatio Alger of this appraisal goes from suburban working class to make ‘good’ by doing very bad larcenous things to those whose money he wants and even worse to those he enlists for his epicurean pleasures.

But, while Ivan Boesky was treated as the no-nonsense plunderer that he was in Wall Street (Oliver Stone’s), here, McCarthy’s The Wolf of Wall Street goes so far as to find high, and low, comedy in its ‘legend-in-his-own-mind’ helmer’s tour de force of pack hunters led by the soon to be richer ‘inspirational’ speaker Mr. Jordan Belfort (apparently the bad little wolf’s real name, based on his confessional tome).

In one particularly odious riff on the virtues of what he deems ‘operatic’ first person narration expounding upon the ways and means of this ganuf,  McCarthy tells us that the fellow has the gall to ‘waive away’ the immorality and illegality of such actions.  

C‘mon, we know it’s Hollywood, but it’s also ‘wave’, as in hand, not rights.  Wave… goodbye to this hackneyed reportage.     

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