The Wolf of Wall Street is getting a thumbs down from one of the real-life victims of the schemes portrayed in the film.
In a letter published in L.A. Weekly, McDowell writes that her father, Tom Prousalis, left her $100,000 in debt when he was sentenced to prison for his part in Belfort’s schemes. McDowell writes that he stole her identity and — after getting out of prison — attempted to start up with the types of behavior that got him in trouble.
But she saves some of her harshest criticism for Scorsese and DiCaprio.
“So here’s the deal. You people are dangerous,” McDowell writes. “Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers’ fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees.”
She goes on to accuse Scorsese and DiCaprio of glorifying the behavior of the film’s characters.
“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?” McDowell writes. “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. “
The Wolf of Wall Street, which is among the season’s awards contenders, has grossed $15.8 million since opening Wednesday.