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Opinion

Cameras, lights, action: Waiting for the wolf

"The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it." Could these inspiring words from former Wall Street crook now motivational speaker Jordan Belfort persuade director Martin Scorsese to hurry up editing the first cut of his film of Belfort’s drug-fuelled rise and fall as head of boiler-room brokerage Stratton Oakmont? ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ had been slated to open in November – perfect timing for its star, Leonardo DiCaprio, playing Belfort, to make his run for the Oscar that has so far unaccountably eluded him.

 

Wall Streeters have been looking forward to the film ever since the first trailer appeared in June, conveying the rock-star dream of the working-class broker made good: all yachts, parties and good clean fun at the office with dwarf-throwing, quaaludes and hot-and-cold-running prostitutes. "I’m old enough to remember bankers crowding into cinemas in Manhattan laughing at Oliver Stone’s Wall Street," one banker tells Euromoney. That moralistic 1987 movie inadvertently turned bad guy Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas with his wonderful catchphrases "greed is good" and "lunch is for wimps", into a hero. The movie even prompted a young Jordan Belfort – and who knows how many like him – onto a career path culminating in pump-and-dump stock scams that lost investors hundreds of millions and earned Belfort 22 months in prison. "This movie looks like it could bring back all those good times," says the banker wistfully.

In September, the movie press was full of stories of possible delays as Paramount executives balked at the over-long version Scorsese had submitted. Three hours might sound like a stretch, but Euromoney can’t wait to see it. We could do with a laugh.

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