Wolf Christmas
2. Christmas Was the Wrong Date
Not that Hollywood hasn’t released counterprogramming on the most joyous holiday of the year. Just last season, audiences were invited to Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables, a depressing musical march through several individual hardships that at least had the backing of a famous stage show in its corner. I’m guessing that audiences looking for something different this Christmas season were shocked (and possibly appalled) by the gratuitous nature of Scorsese’s latest. It recently caught an Academy member by surprise.

Personally, I was prepared for extreme levels of debauchery in Wolf, and was still taken back by the amount of profanity in the director’s theatrical cut. Not that I’m a prude. Sex, violence, drug use and debauchery have a place when they are helping to make a point in a movie. I’m not sure Scorsese’s Wolf has anything to say about the empty suits on the Wall Street circuit… at least, nothing we haven’t heard before, especially in earlier Scorsese films about men who are obsessed with (and ultimately corrupted by) power. Guy Lodge says it best on InContention: "I wasn't left with much when the circus was over: its moral stance, such as it is, is laid out early on, leaving us jogging furiously in place for three hours." Audiences tended to agree.

To be honest, I'm not sure WHEN Paramount should have dropped Wolf into theaters. Perhaps in October, when controversial Oscar fare seeks approval (though Scorsese's opus wasn't ready, so NEXT October would have been the option). It's merely possible that Christmas was an odd time to unleash a sex-and-drug-fueled extravaganza.

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