7 reasons why 2016 will be Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar-winning year

To say that Leonardo DiCaprio has been painfully ill-fated is perhaps a little misleading. After all, he does have a net-worth the size of a small country, and the most glamorous lifestyle imaginable for a modern gentleman. Yet, one thing has continually eluded his grasp, the coveted Oscar for best Actor. But, possibly for not much longer. Here is why one of the biggest cinematic injustices of all time could be put right.

His performance in The Revenant is a grimacing, violent triumph

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(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

Quite frankly the will of the internet won’t be enough to win Leo the Oscar, but a wheezing, groaning, snorting, ultra-realistic portrayal of a savage frontiersman might well be. The highlight of which occurs during arguably the best scene in cinema all-year round, in which DiCaprio grapples with what I’m pretty sure was a real bear (although I have been informed was CGI). Indeed, the act’s brutal struggle was emblematic of the most gripping, anxiety-inducing mode of filmmaking, and was simply extraordinary.

DiCaprio’s immense emotional range has also been shown elsewhere (see The Wolf of Wall Street), but his characterisation in The Revenant exhibits a different kind of ability. It would be impossible to imagine anyone else in the film as Hugh Glass, and Leo is entirely convincing and encapsulating in his road to retribution, even if he mutters only a few lines of comprehensible dialogue.

DiCaprio’s commitment is staggering

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(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

If Daniel Day-Lewis is the ultimate method actor, then Leo can’t be too far behind. Whilst filming The Revenant the actor waded through frozen rivers, slept in animal carcasses risking hypothermia, while also eating raw bison liver for one scene. And, DiCaprio stated that it’s “30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do”.

This should be no surprise really, when filming The Aviator, the crew believed Leo had pretty much induced OCD in order to perform his role as Howard Hughes; with his makeup artist remarking, “Oh, God, here he goes again. We’re going to need 10 minutes to get him to the set today because he has to walk back and step on that thing and touch the door in a certain way and then walk in and walk out again”. DiCaprio simply stated in response, “I let myself do it because I wanted that to come out. I was trying to be the character”.

Leo is the ultimate film star

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(Photo: Reuters)

When Leo first became a part of Hollywood he was equally revered and criticised as a symbol of the new wave of hedonist achievement. Decades on and DiCaprio is now also celebrated for his environmental work, with his foundation recently dedicating $15 million to environmental projects around the world. And, although the actor may not quite be the matured movie star many wish for, Leo’s activities reflects all the extremes fans could wish for.

We have grown up with him

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(Photo: Still from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape)

It’s easy to forget that Leo has been in the public eye for an astonishing amount of time. His breakthrough role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape occurred nearly twenty-three years ago. From pioneering sci-fi thrillers like Inception to cult horrors like Shutter Island and titanic blockbusters such as, well, Titanic DiCaprio has become admired across a breadth of genres and roles. And, across this period he has gone from an up-and-coming talent to a fully-fledged part of the very fabric of our modern cinema.

The alternatives are far more conventional

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(Photo: Still from Wolf of Wall Street)

Bryan Cranston and Michael Fassbender are unarguably superb actors, yet do their biographical portrayals of recent figures truly push the boundaries of film? Probably not. Meanwhile, Matt Damon’s freewheeling role in The Martian delivers a lot to be admired, but the film’s patriotic, Hollywood polish seriously detracts from Damon’s showpiece. Finally, Eddie Redmayne may be the most actor-iest actor, yet winning last years prize will surely see the Oscar panel’s obsession justly ruled out of the running.

He is impressively humble

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Though you would expect the star to speak through gritted teeth when discussing the prospect of missing out for another year, Leo appears to have taken a notable stance on the matter. Speaking on the red carpet he calmly stated that, “It’s completely beyond my control at this point. It’s interesting, because that’s not why you do the work…You do the work because you love making movies and you want to look back and have a filmography that you’re proud of”.

To stop the endless argument

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For some, DiCaprio’s crusade for an Oscar may have become rather trite. Yet, this could be put to bed once and for all. Certainly, it seems likely this time next year there will be no need to advocate DiCaprio’s deservedness for attaining the final piece of the awards puzzle. And what would be better than a rather relief-filled, jubilant speech from Leo to cap it all off.

Further Reading