Unanimously, here at TheYoungFolks, we believe that Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors of our generation. The great films he’s been in, the outstanding performances even in the movies that lack any sort of recognition, Leo has been consistent in becoming the so-called modern Robert De Niro, and therefore, being an idol for aspiring young actors.
Recently, the fact that Leo hasn’t won an Oscar has become more evident than ever, yes, I’m talking about you, internet memes. People do realize that we have one of the greatest actors of our time currently working in critically acclaimed films, yet, every time awards season comes around, he is left empty handed. So far, Leo has had 3 Oscar nominations: 2 for Best Actor for The Aviator (2004) and Blood Diamond (2006) respectively, and 1 for Best Supporting Actor for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993).
But what about Gangs of New York (2002)? Inception (2010)? Revolutionary Road (2008)? The Departed (2006)? J. Edgar (2011)? Django Unchained (2012)? The only reason why I’m putting the dates in parentheses is because of the year in which the films premiered because Leo has been consistent year after year with great performances.
A part of me wants to think that because most of his characters die is a reason why he hasn’t won an Oscar. Could it be because he’s always doing drama? Should he do a comedy instead? Or maybe it’s the fact that the timing hasn’t been the best, and the competition has been tougher every year. Truly, what a time to be alive with all these great actors, but Leo always get mixed up in a category against the likes of Daniel Day Lewis and Morgan Freeman. Or perhaps, the Academy is just waiting for Leo to either do 5 movies in one year and compete against himself or they’re just waiting for him to finally marry Kate Winslet (which I’m
secretly hoping for too).
Whatever the reasons are, the fact remains that Leo has done the “Oscar bait” movies in the past. What are Oscar bait movies are you asking? Well, more often than not, these movies fall in the following categories:
The Biopic: The movie based on a true story. If it’s a period film, extra points for you.
Titanic could fall in this category if we really wanted to.
There’s also J. Edgar (plus points because it’s about a gay lead character)
The Aviator, and while he got nominated, Jamie Foxx won a very much deserved award that year with Ray (see what I mean about timing/competition?)
The Famous Adaptations: The books/novels brought to life on the big screen. The most famous love story (even though it really is a tragedy) of all time, Romeo + Juliet, with a modern twist yes, but the Shakespearean play was basically there.
The Great Gatsby more recently. I always thought this was going to be part of the Awards season last year, but once it got pushed back for release this year during the summer, I realized this was not going to make it to get Leo a nomination.
Revolutionary Road. This move, THIS MOVIE. I don’t need to explain this one.
The “Modern” Era Films: These could be either set in the present or somewhere near our time, or it could be a new take on a difficult topic, for example, slavery.
Django Unchained, could have been easily a Supporting Actor nomination for Leo, but no, the Academy decided to give this award to Christoph Waltz, who is a great actor, but didn’t it feel like he was doing the same Mr-Know-It-All part from Inglorious Basterds? Just saying.
Blood Diamond, great film, but Forest Whitaker won that year for The Last King of Scotland. I mean, when it comes to Modern vs Biopic, you already know that Biopic is more likely to win. Off topic: My favorite case in this category: The Social Network vs The King’s Speech.
The Nut Cases: Movies where the main character faces some sort of mental issue. Think Rain Man, A Beautiful Mind, etc.
Inception, Cobb wasn’t necessarily “crazy”, but this character was conflicted about his reality, I mean, we never really found out if he was awake or sleeping the whole time.
Shutter Island, bonus points for being related to World War II (The Academy loves that), this could have easily earned him a nomination. But alas, we got another Scorsese + DiCaprio for our collection.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Yes, Leo got nominated! But Tommy Lee Jones won that year for The Fugitive.
Leo deserves an award, because let’s be honest, there aren’t that many actors around his age that year after year put in great performances. Also, it would be fantastic if he was rewarded for his efforts now while he’s currently working. It would be a shame if they give him a Lifetime Achievement Award once he retires from acting. The time is now, and according to the reviews for The Wolf of Wall Street, this might be THE part, this might be THE year. But then again, keep in mind the timing and the competition: you’ve got a wonderful performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (Biopic), Joaquin Phoenix in Her (Modern) and other actors whose names are being thrown off now that Awards season is about to start, and all of them have the acting chops to take home the golden statue.
Leo, for us, you’ve already won the Oscar, several Oscars in fact.