'Wolf Of Wall Street' True Story Victim To Tell Own Account In Upcoming Memoir
Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street has been slammed for glorifying the actions of "stock-swindler" Jordan Belfort and not shedding enough light on the victims of Belfort's crimes.
Now, one of those victims will make sure their side of the story will be told.
Christina McDowell, whose father Tom Prousalis was sent to prison for his involvement with the real "Wolf" Belfort, is writing a memoir, publisher Gallery Books has announced.
The book will be "a classic father/daughter story and a cautionary, yet ultimately positive, tale of starting over" that demonstrates the "consequences not just for one family, but for society as a whole," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The publisher adds that McDowell's tale is a "younger, more innocent, true-life version of Woody Allen's recent hit film, Blue Jasmine."
The new Wolf of Wall Street tale is based on McDowell's open letter written December 2013, which criticized both director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio and asked movie-goers to see something else.
"Yet you're glorifying it -- you who call yourselves liberals. You were honored for career excellence and for your cultural influence by the Kennedy Center, Marty. You drive a Honda hybrid, Leo. Did you think about the cultural message you'd be sending when you decided to make this film? You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal, a guy who still hasn't made full restitution to his victims, exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior. And don't even get me started on the incomprehensible way in which your film degrades women, the misogynistic, ass-backwards message you endorse to younger generations of men."
McDowell also details in the letter how the real Jordan Belfort bruised her relationship with her father, who lied to her and left her more than $100,000 in debt.
The memoir is tabbed for publication spring 2015.
Scorsese addressed the backlash to his latest hit film a few weeks ago, telling Deadline that there is an "obvious moral message" viewers should take out of the theater.
"As a naïve young person I thought that in white collar jobs, people behaved a certain way, respectably. I'm sure there are people who do. But, I'm 71. And in the past 30 years or so, I've seen the change in the country, what values were and where they've gone. The values now are only quite honestly about what makes money. To present characters like this on the screen, have them reach some emotional crisis, and to see them punished for what they've done, all it does is make us feel better. And we're the victims, the people watching onscreen. So to do something that has an obvious moral message, where two characters sit in the film and hash it out, or where you have titles at the end of the film explaining the justice, the audience expects that. They've been inured to it."
"I didn't want them to be able to think problem solved, and forget about it. I wanted them to feel like they'd been slapped into recognizing that this behavior has been encouraged in this country, and that it affects business and the world, and everything down to our children and how they're going to live, and their values in the future. It's almost becoming like, these days in Hollywood, people misbehave, they have problems in their lives, drugs, alcohol, they go to rehab and come out again. And that means it's okay, it's an expected ritual you go through. You make a film about slavery, it's important for young people to understand and see it vibrantly presented on the screen. And when you make a film that just points up and decries the terrible goings on in the financial world and the financial philosophy and the financial religion of America, we do that a certain way and it makes us feel okay, that we've done our duty, we've seen the film, given it some awards and it goes away and we put it out of our minds. By the way, Jordan and a bunch of guys went to jail, and even though they served sentences in very nice jails, the reality is jail isn't nice and a light sentence is still a sentence. The lingering reality is, if you look at the last disaster this world created, who went to jail?"
Cast members Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio have expressed similar feelings about the roles they played in the film.
Hill vehemently denied allegations that the film celebrated the actions of Belfort and his co-workers while receiving an award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Sunday, USA Today reports.
"I don't agree with anything (the characters) did in the film," Hill told the audience while accepting his Creative Impact in Acting Award.
"The point of the movie is that criminally these people didn't get punished for what they were doing," Hill said. "That doesn't mean that this kind of bad behavior and excess and treating people poorly didn't lead to a bad ending for them."
DiCaprio, who is also a producer of the film, has also taken a strong stance on Wolf's morality in recent interviews, telling Deadline's Mike Fleming that the intention was to shine the light on just how ridiculous Belfort's lifestyle was:
"We very consciously wanted this to be an analysis of the temptation and intoxication of the world of money and indulgence and hedonism. We wanted to take the audience on that journey, and so we don't ever see the wake of that destruction until the very end, where they implode. It was a very conscious decision on our part, so the experience would be almost like taking a drug. To me, if you're an audience member, you want to be completely submerged in the actual film. We wanted it to be from these peoples' perspective, an understanding of the very nature of who these people are, and why this can be so intoxicating and so exciting for them. By no means is this film a glorification or some sort of promotion of this lifestyle and those who say it is are missing the point entirely. These people are what they are and we didn't want to give them any false sense of sympathy.
He also told The Los Angeles Times that "If a movie can give you a greater understanding of our darker nature—whether you agree with it or not—that's the best thing a film can be to me."
Speaking on his director Martin Scorsese's portrayal of the film's characters, DiCaprio said none of the actions were being condoned.
"Marty said to me, 'I've done many movies like this. I don't want to pass judgment on these people. I want to show them for what they are.' If you look at Goodfellas, there is an attractiveness to that lifestyle, but it's never condoning that behavior."
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)