11 Brilliantly Controversial Martin Scorsese Moments

10. The Wolf Of Wall Street - Vulgar Displays Of Power

One of the more grotesque aspects of The Wolf Of Wall Street is the way the brokers chose to spend their money. Whether giving a receptionist $25,000 to have her head shaven, taking bets on who can toss a midget the closest to a giant bullseye, or simply spending exorbitant sums on Italian vacations, money functions to these men and women as an ethereal concept, not a scarce resource. This is a concept that has only become repugnant in the public eye recently, as income disparity has evolved into the most contentious political issue of the last several years. If one takes the film at face value, he or she could easily mistake The Wolf Of Wall Street as a glorification of these outlandish and garish uses of money. With this script, however, Scorsese opted to show these characters in all their buffoonery because the movie is constructed from the opening frame to be a black comedy. The superficial acts embody an underlying perspective, regardless of income, a great many of us, essentially, aspire to abuse wealth in the same fashion. By providing this insanity, Martin Scorsese shows how the 1980s and 1990s perspective on the American Dream rings hollow today.

Jack Manley is an aspiring writer, filmmaker, and artist from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. He currently resides in New York City.