Although it's well acted and directed, days after watching the HBO movie "The Wizard Of Lies", I regret the two hours I spent doing so. If anyone has seen the film, I'm curious to hear what you took away from it. I hope some of the producers, including Robert DeNiro - who portrays Bernie Madoff - decided to donate some of the proceeds from the movie to the thousands of people whose financial lives were ruined when Madoff's Ponzi scheme came unraveled in late 2008. If not, then I can envision my regret curdling into a more profound disgust as additional time passes.
I don't know one way or the other if Ruth Madoff is actually delivering Meals On Wheels in Boca Raton, Florida as depicted near the end of the film. If she is, good for her. If she's not, shame on the scriptwriters. But either way, what exactly am I supposed to conclude about her knowing this? How are the filmmakers trying to shape my perception of her? Although it's depicted twice, this detail might have escaped me if I hadn't spent the last several years volunteering at Meals On Wheels alongside a lot of decent people. Is there a Ruth Madoff among them trying to start a new life and expiate some guilt? Maybe.
And maybe the filmmakers inclusion of that detail was trying to make the simple point that everyone has a story. The optimist in me wants to think that. The cynic who sometimes felt dirty watching "The Wizard Of Lies" is still reflecting.