Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street premiered to solid reviews and more than a little bit of Oscar traction, and the real-life Jordan Belfort (played by Leo DiCaprio) is eager to capitalize on the film’s buzz. Which is why he’s reportedly shopping a reality show.
Belfort was indicted in 1998 for money-laundering and securities fraud, after swindling clients out of tens of millions of dollars. He was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison, but only would up serving 22 months.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Electus CEO Chris Grant is working with Belfort — who now spends his days as a motivational speaker — to develop a show that follows Belfort “stepping in to help others who, like him, have hit rock bottom, but still hold out some hope for redemption.”
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Despite the film’s mostly positive (if slightly whiplashed) critical reception, the praise has been primarily been directed at Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance as the morally bankrupt Belfort — reviews for the man himself leave something to be desired. Here are some choice descriptions:
“Fierce and in your face, DiCaprio’s performance turns Belfort into the human incarnation of avarice and arrogance. This is not a likable man. But as DiCaprio increasingly proves, he is great at playing the irredeemable.” — Betsey Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
“But about the 13th time you watch this guy snort coke off a hooker’s butt or drool after a fistful of Quaaludes, you realize the director has nothing left to show us about such a man. Belfort plunges through debauchery, deceit and angry domination of everyone around him until he’s a buffoon, not a tragic figure headed for a fall.” Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observor
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“As Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who spent years cheerfully defrauding investors, DiCaprio is positively reptilian; he spits out his lines with a nasty glee. You’re both horrified and enchanted by this creature — a monster in Armani.” – Moira MacDonald, the Seattle Times
“Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is abashed and shameless, exciting and exhausting, disgusting and illuminating; it’s one of the most entertaining films ever made about loathsome men.” — Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
“Greed — the surprise here is overwhelming — is bad: intoxicating, corrupting, destroying. On the trading floor, the brokers flip the bird at clients as they talk to them on the phone. We’re invited to enjoy how contemptuous they are of anyone whom they can bully, cozen, or blarney out of money. ‘” – David Denby, The New Yorker.
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