In our second blog post, we talked about how Margot Robbie played an uber-sexualised Harley Quinn in recent film Suicide Squad. Today, we’re throwing it back to 2014 to Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, where Robbie stars as the wife of wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The film mimics the true story of Belfort from his rise to become a wealthy stock-broker, living the high life, to his fall: involving crime, corruption and the federal government.
The Wolf of Wall Street was heavily criticised for its glamorous depiction of a drug and prostitute-fuelled life. However, it received far less attention and criticism for its portrayal of women than it did for glorifying this exploitative and hedonistic lifestyle. Despite the film being based on a true story with real characters, there is a fine line between accurately depicting the sexual objectification of women in Belfort’s world and succumbing to it.
Margot Robbie at first reportedly turned down the initial offer to audition because she feared that due to the role’s demand for full nudity and explicit sex scenes, she would not be seen as more than a sexual object. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember that most of the women in it were used as little more than sexual objects and playthings. You might remember this ‘money girl’ scene, where a girl stands in nothing but underwear, plastered in money…
Or the infamous “daddy” scene with Robbie and DiCaprio…
If you’ve seen The Wolf of Wall Street, you may recall how the power and corruption of arrogant masculinity screams at us from every frame – women are objectified while men hold all power. The movie fails to say anything interesting about the women in it… the barbie-doll figures, hookers and strippers serve simply as props for the male protagonists as they carry on with their debauchery, drawing plenty of laughs from the audience.
Although it is based on a true story, do you think the film magnified the sexual objectification of women in order to attract a wider audience with exhilarating themes like sex, money and power? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
– S x