Back before we rewarded people for being corrupt buccaneers of Wall Street, there lived a man named Jordan Belfort. He did some naughty things with his investing habits back in the 1990s, made millions, and lived the life of a rock star.
He went to jail for this. How quaint, right? Jailing someone for rigging Wall Street. Belfort obviously paid the price for being ahead of his time.
This creep is now the subject of a sprawling, hyperactive movie directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The Wolf of Wall Street, based on Belfort’s memoir, is so juiced-up it’s understandably being compared to Scorsese’s “GoodFellas,” another saga of an illicit American Dream soaring and crashing.
The violence and imminent danger of a gangster movie is somewhat replaced here by the audacity of modern stockbrokers. Their amoral world is equally appalling for being out in the open.