Leo at Long Last
Unlike the Grammy Awards, the Academy has some class. While the music industry rewards artists to sell themselves as top 40-radio-hit-slaves, patchworking together ghost-written lyrical content as deep as a kiddie pool while balancing at least 3 relationships and 1 drug addiction a year, the film industry often rewards those who are deserving.
Given the nature of a film’s length; great pictures, directors, actors, and actresses are often accurately rated based on the pure notion that you need a lot of money to put together Oscar-worthy productions.
While musicians can hide behind auto tune, you can’t fake a performance.
Because of this system, there are not many mysteries on who and who shouldn’t walk away with the coveted Oscar trophy given by each year’s Academy members.
One mystery that has eluded fans and critics alike is why, with five nominations before the 88th Academy Awards airs this Sunday night, has our beloved Leo walked away empty handed.
As Leo gears up for another awards night, no one can question his commitment to his craft. No one is hungrier for an Oscar than the man who decided to “eat the real thing” and go straight for the bison liver in The Revenant. Leo claims “the gelatin liver didn’t look real enough.”
You’re right Leo, it’s because it isn’t real. It’s gelatin.
Leo’s first Oscar nom was for Best Supporting Actor in Lasse Hallström’s 1993 What’s Eating Gilbert Grape for his performance of Arnie, a disabled younger brother of co-star Johnny Depp. He got beaten out by Tommy Lee Jones for chasing around Harrison Ford for two hours in The Fugitive.
Ok, fine. Getting beat by Tommy Lee Jones as a 19 year old isn’t the worst thing.
There were other times when Leo simply was up a creek with no paddle against pure works of art. His 2004 portrayal of film director and flight enthusiast Howard Hughes in Aviator took a backseat to Jamie Foxx’s Ray. Although the film took home five wins off of eleven (11!) nominations, acting out two plane crashes, an obsessive compulsive disorder, and a codeine addiction wasn’t as impressive as playing the piano blind.
Teaming up with Martin Scorsese for the fifth time, Leo put together arguably his most impressive scene of his career in his performance as sex-crazed, money-driven Jordan Belfort in Wolf of Wallstreet. The scene is over three minutes long, as Leo crawls his way from a hotel-lobby payphone jacked up on quaaludes, foaming at the mouth, down a flight of brick steps, towards his 1984 Lamborghini where he somehow manages to open the scissor doors with his foot.
This effort was all taken away by Matthew McConaughey’s performance of AIDS victim Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club. To be fair, McConaughey but on a damn good performance dropping over 50 pounds to an almost unhealthy weight of 135 for the role.
Enough with the second place finishes already.
Although we can’t sob too much over his misfortune of simply competing during the wrong year, there have been times where the Academy looked like it was on more quaaludes than Jordan Belfort.
In 2002, under the direction of one of the greatest producers of cinematic history, Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can really put Leo in the G.O.A.T conversation. Co-starring along with Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken of all people, Leo put together his first big boy role as con artist Frank Abignale. The sheer fact that his performance wasn’t even nominated still baffles critics minds. Providing how insane that year’s picks were, Nicholas Cage got a Best Actor nomination that year.
Yes, you read that right. Nicholas “I’m gonna steal the Declaration of Independence” Cage.
High praise Nick. High praise.
So, let’s do the man a favor. Leonardo DiCaprio has been through the ringer. He’s climbed up a water tower, he’s jumped out of a moving airplane, he’s crawled along while on quaaludes, and eaten a damn bison liver after sleeping in a horse caracass.
For everyone’s sanity. Give the man his Oscar.