The Wizard of Lies

The Wizard of Lies

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
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It is the headline-making true story about the deceptions, lies and betrayals of Bernie Madoff, the man who masterminded the most heinous financial swindle of our generation.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2017.
Branch Call Number: Fic Wizar
Characteristics: 1 DVD (133 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jimg2000
Apr 16, 2018

Based on the findings by NYT's investigating reporter Diana B. Henriques who covered the SEC for almost 40 years, the Madoff scam since day one and interviewed then imprisoned Madoff in 2010. The film also covered the demise of Madoff's two sons and devoted wife of 58 years. Amazing saga of a swindler and those who invested in Madoff's "can't loose" exclusive investment fund. No fake news that I can see. Too bad that his sin did not catch up with him until he was near 70 years old. Besides him, many other swindlers in Wall Street (e,g, insider traders or sellers of real junk assets as triple A investments) got off scot-free as major contributors to the 2008 financial meltdown.

g
gloogai
Feb 22, 2018

Most of this was new to me, Bernie Madoff being only a name on the news some years ago. The film is rather slow and painstaking, ultimately representing a serious attempt at understanding what makes someone like that tick. I was left with the idea that Mr. Madoff was essentially incapable of true empathy with his fellow humans, and that this is a kind of serious personality disorder. Three of the people whose lives he completely destroyed were those closest to him and who loved and trusted him totally: his wife and his two sons.

t
TheeAvebury
Feb 17, 2018

Good film about the Bernie Madoff swindle and the ensuing tragedy. Robert DeNiro's performance actually takes a little time to build up- but by the end it's a masterful one. Two interesting lines in the film by Madoff ( paraphrased )- " the system is rigged " and " I'm just the fall guy " - both of which carry more import than my quotations imply.

w
WhisperedWord
Jan 31, 2018

Although this movie doesn't come close to portraying the complexity of this scandal I did enjoy it. An emotional rollercoaster!

r
richmole
Jan 19, 2018

Interesting: Knew as much as most people in Canada about Bernie Madoff's enormous fraud, that is, that he was arrested and charged with it, and that he went to prison for 150 years or so. That he was most often positioned as "America's Scapegoat" while the "big boys" of Wall Street got off Scott-free after the "meltdown." This movie from veteran director Barry Levinson tells us much more, through the eyes and ears of a real-life reporter (who plays herself convincingly in this movie.)

Fascinating: Madoff's character--or lack of it--and the reactions (and tragic fates) of his immediate family. Also fascinating to learn that scapegoat or not, Madoff really did deserve the punishment he received. $50 billion in vanished "Investments" is no small-time hustle!

Interesting: the angst and anger of those who lost their life-savings and whose own lives were thus savaged--especially in an era of "you are what you earn/spend." What we DON'T see or hear from are the people--and there were thousands--who actually profited by the fraud...because through luck or fear--cashed in before the collapse. Lucky them!

Good performance by Di Nero, but especially Michelle Pfeiffer as Mrs. Madoff.

a
abarbieri
Jan 16, 2018

Don’t waste your time. The first 10 to 15 minutes tell the whole story, the rest is just repeating it over and over.

r
ralwal
Jan 03, 2018

Most people know the story and I think the previous version was better.

Why the director felt it was necessary to put in a gratuitous scene where one of his guilty employees makes demeaning sexual comments about several women at the party, whilst surrounded by laughing male associates, is disgusting, and has no relevance to the story.

e
ecwalker
Dec 23, 2017

I could not watch this dvd. My DVD player said it was damaged, too damaged to see even one minute. I'll try to watch it online

j
JackamoJames
Dec 14, 2017

Interesting info on Bernie but the story itself is kinda lame. Nice to see DeNiro as always but I cant say its a must see unless you want to know about the people around him. Not captivating but still interesting .

h
hammer59
Nov 29, 2017

This was a difficult watch only because it actually happened. How fraud on this magnitude occurred despite regulatory agencies (probably watching porn instead of working) only shows how imbedded corruption is in Capitalist America. I enjoyed "99 Homes" and "Margin Call"...and the "Big Short" MUCH more entertaining, but they were made by the Big Studios. In the end, you will reap what you sow. I did not appreciate how this movie minimalized the ruin Maddoff caused.

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j
jimg2000
Apr 16, 2018

Played by the real reporter/writer:
My name is Diana Henriques. As an investigating reporter for the "New York Times," I had been covering the Bernie Madoff scandal from the day it began. After months of requests and correspondence, I was finally able to sit down and interview Bernie Madoff on August 24th, 2010. Until today, his only visitor apart from lawyers has been his wife. He has not answered any independent questions about his crime except when standing in a courtroom responding to a judge. On those occasions, he seemed stiff, almost rehearsed. But in our conversation, he seemed relaxed, unfailingly candid, earnest, and trustworthy. That is his talent and his curse. That is what enabled him to pull off the biggest Ponzi scheme on record.
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Well, but these people, you know, they had a little greed in them, too. There was a little bit of, you know... look, you know, and they didn't wanna look too hard. They looked just far enough. So they're accomplices in some way, too.

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