Oh Grow Up
Am I the only person tired of Martin Scorsese's sensibility, which was perfect for 1973 but has been old so long, it's ... well, dead?
In today's LA Times there is an item about Scorsese's next film project, stalled between two studios. The passage that caught my eye is about the film itself:
"On paper, the movie looks like a great investment: Scorsese once again directing his 'Aviator' and 'Departed' star Leonardo DiCaprio in an adaptation of the just-published cash-coke-and-corruption memoir 'The Wolf of Wall Street' ... , the autobiography of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, a flashy, drug-abusing, hooker-hiring, model-marrying master of the universe sent to jail for securities fraud and money laundering in the '90s."
Didn't we do this already? "Wall Street," "Bright Lights, Big City," "The Bonfire of the Vanities"? Or, assuming Scorsese makes no distinction between Wall Street and the Mafia, "Goodfellas"? The image of American business as gangsterism is the dominant one around the world, used to justify the corruption and excess of robber barons in Russia, China, and many other ruthless plutocracies. When the US government gets on its high horse and preaches good labor practices and business ethics, it is taken as a joke, because thanks to Hollywood, everyone in the world knows all Americans are mobsters.
Scorsese is getting a little long in the tooth to still be celebrating the rotten behavior of bad-boy gangs he never belonged to. Get over it, Marty. Your stuff is boring and pernicious.
For a full treatment of this topic, see my essay comparing "The Departed" with the much superior Hong Kong film it was based on, "Infernal Affairs."