He is no stranger to controversy, but even critics who acclaimed Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street have noted the film’s amoral decadence.
And now, the director was heckled at an official Academy screening at the weekend because of it.
Scorsese attended the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday (21 December) for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) preview, which was followed by a Q&A session.
According to actress Hope Holiday, Scorsese was harangued with comments of "shame on you" and "disgusting".
In a Facebook post, 75-year-old Holiday, who starred in the 1960 Billy Wilder film The Apartment, wrote: "Tonight was torture at the Academy - The Wolf of Wall Street - three hours of torture - same disgusting crap over and over again. After the film they had a discussion which a lot of us did not stay for - the elevator doors opened and Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and a few others got out. Then a screen writer ran over to them and started screaming - shame on you - disgusting."
In comments below the post, Holiday went on to say that she "hated" the film and added: "I ran down the stairs." However, the actress did concede that "some people liked it".
According to the Wrap, a Paramount rep who was with Scorsese said that no one screamed at the director, but admitted that one person offered "a negative comment."
Holiday declined to name the screenwriter in question but told The Wrap that the criticism of Scorsese was "a shocker," and "very awkward and embarrassing" for others waiting for the elevator.
The Wolf of Wall Street, which features Scorsese's long-term collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio as the anti-hero Jordan Belfort, is a wild, sex and drugs-fuelled account of the financial fraudster's rise to riches on Wall Street.
Overall, it has been highly praised by critics ahead of its US release. The film was named in the top 10 films of the year by the American Film Institute and is tipped to be an Oscar winner, having already secured two Golden Globe nominations.
The Wolf of Wall Street goes on general release in the US on Christmas Day and on 17 January 2014 in the UK.
Best films on TV this Christmas
Best films on TV this Christmas
1/14 23rd December - Jane Eyre
A recent re-make of Bronte’s novel, Michael Fassebender is suitably brooding as Rochester and Mia Wasikowska gives an excellent performance in a film that’s a perfect antidote if you’re beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by Christmas cheer. (8.30-10.20pm, BBC2)
2/14 Christmas Eve - The Grinch
The perfect film for Christmas Eve, Jim Carey stars (although underneath all that green, you’d be hard pushed to recognise him) bringing a touch of dark humour to an almost too saccharine tale. (3.50-6pm, C4)
3/14 Christmas Eve - Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sitting down with a drink in hand, this film makes for easy evening viewing. Harrison Ford stars as the world’s best known archaeologist, taking on Nazis, booby traps and ancient demons, rescuing some distressed damsels along the way. (8-9.45pm, BBC3)
4/14 Christmas Day - James and the Giant Peach
Christmas morning is here – and if your kids are already climbing the walls post stockings, this is a great family film to keep them amused while you have a break. Joanna Lumley’s spiky asides add a touch of grown up entertainment to this beautiful animation. (8.50-10.25am, C4)
5/14 Christmas Day- Casablanca
'Here’s looking at you kid.' With more iconic lines than you can shake a stick at, Humphrey Bogart is Rick, the bar owner who looses his apathy when Ingrid Bergmann’s Ilsa appears on the scene. Perfect for quietly playing as you snooze off your Christmas lunch. (2.35-4.40pm, C5)
6/14 Christmas Day- The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine stars in the Muppet’s take on Dickens’ tale. Keeping the morals of the original story the Muppet’s add a touch of light-hearted frivolity to an enjoyable family film. (4.35-6.15pm, C4)
7/14 Boxing Day - 101 Dalmatians
Easy viewing on Boxing Day morning: Glenn Close is magnificent as Disney’s Cruella De Ville (recalling a touch of The Devil Wears Prada in the opening scenes) with Joely Richardson supporting. (9.55-11.30am, BBC1)
8/14 Boxing Day - Independence Day
Hugely entertaining, with impressive special effects given the film was made nearly 15 years ago. A crash, bang, explosion epic which is great fun. (6.20-9pm, C4)
9/14 Boxing Day - Emma
This gentle period drama offers a perfect excuse for settling down on the sofa for the afternoon. Gwyneth Paltrow gives a bright performance as the hopeless matchmaker with an excellent supporting cast. (12.05-2pm, BBC2)
10/14 27th December - The Inbetweeners Movie
The teens gather for the holiday of every adolescence as they head to Malia for sun, sex and more toe-curlingly embarrassing antics. You don’t need to be a fan of the series to enjoy this likeable film.(9-10.55pm, C4)
11/14 27th December - Bridget Jones’s Diary
We have gone Bridget Jones mad recently but the first film is Bridget truly at her loveable best. Renee Zellweger stars with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant scrapping for her attention. (9.35-11.20pm, ITV)
12/14 28th December - Up
An animation with real heart, Up’s fantastical elements are anchored by tear-inducing sequences and packs a real punch. Perfect viewing for those feeling a little deflated post-Christmas. (6.50-8.15pm, BBC1)
13/14 29th December - Fantastic Mr Fox
Wes Anderson’s retro animation works well and is a refreshing change from the usual slick appearance of kids' animations. Roald Dahl’s story is amusingly carried by George Clooney as Mr Fox with a host of supporting actors carried along in his charismatic wake. (6.10-7.55pm, More4)
14/14 29th December - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
It’s difficult to tell what’s supposed to be happening here – but the fourth film in the series still looks amazing and is a fun watch even if you’ve no idea what’s going. Keith Richard’s cameo appearance is worth waiting for. (8-10.05pm, BBC1)