A nicer form, to be sure, but at base the two are the same thing: But so thin is the line between ambition and greed that in the pursuit of fulfilling the former people often stray too far into the realm of the latter, causing everything to come crashing down around them.
Share I gave in. With all the controversy surrounding The Wolf of Wall Street—a celebrated director assailed after an advance screening, stunned showgoers wondering what it takes these days to get an NCrating, and two impassioned reviews from the New Yorker that would lead one to believe the authors had seen different movies—I bought a ticket to see the polarizing film up for five Oscars including Best Picture.
In the quiet moment between the endless march of trailers and the movie, I thought: This is what it must have been like for English professors watching Anonymous. In two hours, they would know every heresy of Shakespeare scholarship that Roland Emmerich had imparted to popular culture and, thus, to their students for years to come.
For myself, given that I teach business ethics to students who dream of making their careers in the financial sector, I shuddered to think what Martin Scorsese might teach them.
But when the lights came up, I found myself relieved, and after a second showing, strangely enchanted. The movie is a sustained meditation on the grotesqueries of greed, but it makes no attempt to assess that passion as the alleged engine of capitalism. But such doubts seem lost on those who take Gordon Gekko to be the avatar of some essential truth.
We live in an age when too many people, without too much thought, embrace the notion that greed is good. One can accept the guiding conceit of neoclassical economics—that people pursuing their private interests generally provide for greater development than a centrally planned economy—without also believing that we benefit from any selfish pursuit.
Indeed, it is hard to imagine a belief more convenient or morally corrosive, for it not only justifies any bad behavior, however ugly, duplicitous, or cruel, it suggests the victims should be grateful for the harm done them.
No attempt is made to defend such conduct as the requirement of a well-functioning financial sector. In fact, the movie regards the technical details of finance high and low as ultimately irrelevant.
He makes no efforts to explain or justify his actions.
On the contrary, he trusts that, vicariously at least, we are glad to participate in the deception and debauchery. For Belfort, all you need to know is that money is the sole criterion of status, success, and moral superiority.
Stratton Oakmont is America. According to Scorsese, the American Dream is a nihilistic bacchanal where any excess is redeemed by the ability to be excessive. More From The Atlantic.Sep 07, · The s Producer Oliver Stone set his Wall Street film in the mids, around the time several insider trading scandals and prosecutions were in the news.
The film also portrayed the high-flying life styles of New York traders rolling in their Wall Street largesse during that era.
Gordon Gekko is a fictional character in the film Wall Street and its sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, both directed by Oliver Stone. Gekko was portrayed by actor Michael Douglas, whose performance in the first film won him an Oscar for Best Actor.
Wolf of Wall Street In my opinion, the entire movie was a road map on how to engage in unethical behavioral in the corporate world. Even if we left out the drugs, the sexual exploration of women and the total lack of morality exhibited by the main character we would have a great deal to talk about.
Dec 25, · Watch video · Wolf of Wall Street never has any of that and it hurts it. I suspect the message of the film is that our financial systems are screwed and that ultimately the rich will never be in the same world as the average person, because this is what I took from the rather sobering final scenes/10(K).
Jun 17, · From Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese comes The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Follow . When Ambition Becomes Greed: Similarities in ‘Citizen Kane’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Share Tweet A video compares the oversized egos of Charles Foster Kane and Jordan Belfort.