I love Leonardo DiCaprio. The guy guarantees great movies. His selection of movies is exceptional and he performs consistently well. I admire Leo in that sense, but not for his acting prowess.
You heard me right folks.
Every now and then I hear DiCaprio fans cursing the academy awards or belittling it stating the apparent missing of academy awards from Leo’s trophy cabinet. Outcries are in plenty:
“One of the greatest of this generation has not yet received the Oscars!! Shame on you academy”
“A lobby is working against him in the Academy”
“Oscars doesn’t deserve Leo”
“Leo doesn’t need an Oscar to prove his greatness”
But I think he needs it. He needs it badly to prove his ‘greatness’ (if he wants to prove it). The reason why I put the word in quotes is that I don’t think dear Leo is as great an actor as his fans all over the world believes to be. No offense folks!
Leo, in my view, is a really hard working guy and great person to work with according to several filmmakers. He is an extremely consistent performer and someone with really good taste in cinema. That is why he is successful with the masses, and hopefully will find more of it in future.
But when it comes to acting and oscars, I think its not a case of Academy being unfair or prejudiced. Don’t get me wrong, the academy can be really unjust. In fact I have no doubt that it is a highly prejudiced set-up. But not in Leo’s case. All the five times he was nominated, there were couple of others in the list who were better than him. That is a fact.
As for people opining that he is one of the greatest actors of this generation, I really don’t think so. As I have said before, he is a consistent performer who choses great movies to work in. That is a tricky combination.The consistency along with great selection of movies over a period of time is what has led folks into accepting him as a great acting talent. He is a good, consistent actor. But, unfortunately, not a great one.
This is particularly evident while Leo is performing with extremely talented actors. The perfect example would be his much admired ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’. DiCaprio was brilliant in the movie. But the most memorable portion, for me, was Matthew McConaughey’s five minutes in the beginning. DiCaprio did all sorts of crazy things in the movie. But at the end of the day, it was McConaughey’s five minutes that stole the show. Scorsese’s ‘Gangs Of New York’ is another movie where DiCaprio fades into the shadow of a superior acting talent. Leo did really well as the vengeful ‘Amsterdam Vallon’. Yet he was no match for Daniel Day Lewis’s ‘Bill The Butcher’. When Vallon screams, we see Leo screaming. But when Lewis screams, it is Bill whom we see. The same with ‘Django Unchained’. His performance as the cruel, playboy estate owner is one of his best till date. But Christoph Waltz walked away with the movie as well as the Oscar with his badass Dr.King Schultz act. To be frank Leo should’ve had a nomination but winner was, without any doubt, Waltz.
That is what great actors or acting talents like Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman or Anthony Hopkins are capable of. You don’t see great actors in movies. You only see the characters they play. Take for instance Helena Bonham Carter’s Bellatrix Black(Harry Potter) and the Red Queen(Alice in wonderland). Both are extremely despicable characters and similar in nature yet entirely different on screen. And you can’t find Carter in either of these characters. The thing with Leo is, no matter what he does he is not able to hide himself from the audience. You see the dashing playboyish Leonardo DiCaprio in all his characters.
I am not trying to blame him. He is a very dedicated actor but not an exceptional acting talent. It is what I see. I wish him best of luck for the future to continue doing what he loves to. I am pretty sure, he will win the oscar someday.
PS: If someone badly wants to blame the Academy, Leo is not the right choice. Those folks should watch Luc Besson’s ‘Leon The Professional’ and try to find out how on earth Gary Oldman didn’t even receive a nomination. Frankly, I would tie Oldman’s Norman Stansfield with Heath Ledger’s Joker on the greatest villainous turns list. You won’t find the uber cool Oldman. All you`ll find is an insanely stoned, corrupt and sadistic cop. A pure creep! Take a look-