Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil has landed Wolf of Wall Street‘s Martin Scorsese for a nice webcam chat — nothing crazy, loose and easy but, as always with Scorsese, nothing but the truth. How can you not love this guy? At 71, Scorsese is probably as alive and hungry and ready to roll as he ever was, and perhaps a bit more so in the heat of the Wolf “controversy.” I hate using that word in general (it sounds like a local TV news term) but especially in this context. When an angry debate is due to a vocal minority either unable or unwilling to get where a film is coming from, it’s not controversial — it’s perceptional or remedial.

  • fahrenheit290

    Loved his reaction to “how do you think the Oscar voters will respond to this.” This guy has always been above the Oscars and most of the people they honor. He’s in it for cinema, pushing the artform forward, and it’s a shame there has been blowback for Wolf. As some NBA commentators might say, don’t be disrespectful, and that’s exactly what the smear campaigning is doing.

    Loved the account of Leo improvising the quaaludes scene, using his leg to open the Lamborghini. Amazing story. He needs to be in the Best Actor lineup…capturing a range of comedy and drama he’s never reached in a film before.

    Loved the Kurosawa question. Yojimbo!

    Loved how he waved at the end. Marty’s the best.

  • Bob

    Hey Jeff,

    Did you notice the way Scorsese physically recoils when Tom O’Neil asks about how Oscar voters will respond to WOWS? What did you get from that?
    It even looks like he rolls his eyes and shakes his head. Was it the question or was there something else behind it?


    • fahrenheit290

      My take is it was a very natural reaction. He didn’t make this movie to cater to Oscar voters. He finds the idea of making a movie for the Oscars repulsive. He tries to explain that this movie was made for it to simply exist, to be seen and debated, before Tom cuts him off to mention the Susan Lucci tidbit.

      • Big G

        Did he not know who he was talking to or what website he was on? Tom freaking O’Neill and Gold Derby are ALL ABOUT these meaningless awards.

  • Brian Bouton

    Joe Popcorn Film Report:

    I caught a sold-out matinee of WOWS at BAM—$9 in Brooklyn!— and the crowd was definitely engaged but not a lot of laughter beyond some of the broader comedy moments. No walk-outs or big reactions to the more controversial moments (i.e. altercation with the wife.)

    I’m going to get raked over the coals for this but I just enjoyed the film—no love—even though I thought DiCaprio was amazing and deserving of a Best Actor nod. Definitely more impressive than Hill who had a far easier role to play.

    I definitely disagree with the critics who say Belfort doesn’t suffer enough in the film for his transgressions. Hell, the movie is one miserable slog after another with no one enjoying anything through their drug and alcohol-fueled haze. Everything feels cheap and meaningless in the film including the homes, yachts, sex, and most of all the money.

    When DiCaprio makes it rain on the yacht with his “fun coupons,” any sensible person watching knows his life is devoid of any value whatsoever. Hell, the ENTIRE Lamborghini/Popeye scene hammers you over the head with the depths he has descended to, and if that’s not enough, you get to see him rape his wife who hates his guts.

    If you think greed, or drugs, is good, then there is some value to be had in seeing this film, but I imagine most of us know the truth. If I gave a shit about the Oscars, I’d be annoyed if 12 Years lost to WOWS, but I’d be fine if DiCaprio won Best Actor who is one of the finest actors working today.

    P.S. I LOVED thinking Scorsese intentionally shot Leo dumping his first wife in front of the garish and hideous Trump Tower as a statement on excess.

    • Awardsdaily

      I like your write-up but I just have to add that, maybe in mafia movies you can show the bad guys taking a major fall because THEY DID. Many of them WERE caught and punished. Not so with dudes on Wall Street. The whole point of this thing is how the wolf skates by – because don’t they all? Maybe that makes it not fun to watch. But it’s true.

      • Brian Bouton

        Thank you, though I’m not so sure he skated by in the end. His life looked pretty miserable from the minute the naked marching band comes through the door until the very end when he has to teach schlubs how to sell at sales seminars.

        He’s married to a great woman—loses her to his excesses—marries a woman as shallow as he is—loses her and his daughter due to drugs, alcohol, and infidelity. Every relationship is lost or destroyed in the film due to the Stratton lifestyle (i.e. Brad’s heart attack at 35.)

        What does he have in the end other than some funny stories? How much can he actually remember or savor based off how much coke, ludes, or shots he did?

        When Hill asks him how sobriety is at the end, I felt it was Winters’ way of clueing us into Leo’s character being unable to handle life with any form of sincerity.

        Who exactly would want the life he had when all is said and done? To wake up in your 40s with your wife and child hating you? Turned on all your friends and lost them? Known as a crook?

        What the movie lets the audience overlook is that today’s Wall Street is too smart for the bullshit scams that Stratton was pulling with Steve Madden, penny stocks, and the ratholes. They can steal money in plain sight using advanced mathematical constructs that no jury could begin to fathom or find fault in to bring down the system. (SEC agents have said off-the-record that the majority of these crimes will never face prosecution due to their complexity.)

        That’s the reason I found it laughable that Leo’s character gives up on explaining IPOs to the audience which many juries would actually understand. Current Wall Street guys must be having a good belly laugh at such simplistic scams their dads used to pull.

        • Reverent and free

          That’s a good analysis. The movie definitely does not make Belfort’s exploits seem sexy or fun. As you say, neither he nor anyone else in the film is ever for a moment happy.

          I think the problem with the movie is that we don’t really give a damn about what happens to him. He’s just a pathetic drug addicted asshole. There’s no Hitchcockian identification with a lawbreaker, and he’s not an evil enough man for us to wish him a comeuppance.

          • Brian Bouton

            That’s an excellent point. I didn’t care for anyone in the film but Leo since I like him as an actor, but I didn’t care at all for his character’s misfortunes.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Too bad “Marty” didn’t have time to school Mr. O’Neil on “Sunrise.”

  • bill weber

    re as “alive and hungry” as ever, what about his recent interview quote, “I miss the days when I was willing to experiment”? I miss them too.

  • roland1824

    It really is too bad this tired circular debate on WOWS is taking up all the oxygen in the room while American Hustle is not getting more love. The character shades and subtleties and clockwork plotting in AH really should be getting more attention this season.

    • More than a few award-season tea-leaf readers are getting the idea that the consensus softies might be voting for “American Hustle” for Best Picture.