Men want to be him while women want to be with him. It’s safe to say that Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the biggest movies stars in the world. Actually, scratch that, DiCaprio is one of the world’s biggest stars in general. From his movie roles to charity appearances, DiCaprio is perhaps the most charismatic and recognisable people in the world today and will likely be the actor whose work we recant to our grandchildren as the example that makes all other acting standards look poor. The question everyone is asking today is, “will 2016 bear Oscar success for DiCaprio?”
The short answer is yes.
DiCaprio has been in some great movies over the years, some of which are my favourites; Titanic, Catch Me If You Can and The Great Gatsby, so why hasn’t he been recognised for his brilliance? There’s really no easy answer. I’m not here to tell you about a conspiracy against Leo because I don’t think there is one. He’s just been unlucky. And surprisingly he’s only been nominated 5 times. Four times for best actor in a leading role for The Aviator, Blood Diamond, The Wolf Of Wall Street and most recently, this year, The Revenant, where he once again finds himself as a favourite.
DiCaprio’s career to date
In 1993, DiCaprio was also nominated for Best Supporting Role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Some may argue he should have won the Oscar for his outstanding performance in The Wolf Of Wall Street. He played the role with so much passion that in some of the speeches he made you could nearly count the hairs standing up on my arms as I watched. Playing the New York City accent to a tee, he lost out to Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, who to be fair put up very strong competition.
Another film that he was nominated best actor for was Blood Diamond where he plays a South African in a war torn Sierra Leone in the 1990’s (again a role in which he plays an accent to a tee). Losing out to Forest Whitaker in The Last King Of Scotland, it would be seven years in until he was nominated again in the aforementioned Wolf Of Wall Street. If there is ever an actor you need to do an accent, Leo is your man. So is it time he gets recognised for his brilliance?
This year, we see Leo nominated for Best Actor in The Revenant.
Revenant: DiCaprio’s best role to date?
(Note, spoilers ahoy)
He plays a frontiersman on a fur expedition who is attacked by a bear and left for dead by his colleagues after they realise it’s too difficult to take him with them. He survives the attack and decides to seek revenge on his former friends and hunt them down and kill them. During filming, there was little to no CGI used except for the bear attack. This was a decision taken on by Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who filmed mainly in harsh conditions in Canada for 9 months. The director was taken aback by how well Leo plays the role in such a way that the only real acting he does is the dialogue. In scenes where he is crawling in dirt, hopping into frozen rivers and eating raw bison liver, it was all real.
“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do” Leo says about playing the role. He went all out, no holds barred for this film. The original plan was to eat jelly shaped into a buffalo liver, but he says it did not look genuine and opted for the real thing. The only jelly he got was the membrane around the liver he says was the worst part of his meal. This is a prime example that shows us that actors…or at least some actors, don’t have it all that easy.
Some may like their cushy, handy gigs where they would never have to go through these sort of tests of will power, physical challenges and sanity, but if you want to have your legacy cemented in history forever, these are some sacrifices you have to make. And yet, a part of you thinks that Leo isn’t doing this for his legacy. He’s not doing it for an Oscar or fame or money, instead he’s doing it because he knows this is what us mere mortals pay our hard earned money to see, so he feels obliged to deliver it. And he does, time and time and time again. An Oscar would just be a nice perk.
His competition this year consists of Bryan Cranston for his role in ‘Trumbo’, Matt Damon in ‘The Martian’, Michael Fassbender in ‘Steve Jobs’ and Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Danish Girl’. Some tough competition, but none of these actors had to go through the physical torture Leo put himself through for his latest role.
So I don’t think I’m alone in asking the Academy – please just give him the god damn Oscar already!