The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Ajeetesh Kumar, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Leading up to the 2016 Oscars ceremony, there has been a whole lot of chatter surrounding Leonardo DiCaprio and the fact that he’s never won an Oscar. TheRevenant star has now been nominated five times. He scored nods for 2014’s The Wolf of Wall Street, 2007’s Blood Diamond, 2005’s The Aviator, and 1994’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. And now he’s earned even more recognition from the Academy with 2016’s nomination for his brooding portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant, which could mark his first win at the Academy Awards. And while he’s
certainly deserving of being recognized for all of the above films (and
let’s be honest, 1996’s Titanic, too) here is what he did for each roles.
1. When he played “Arnie” in the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” lost to Tommy Lee Jones from The Fugitive.When getting into character, Leonardo DiCaprio remarked of it: “I had to really research to get into the mind of somebody like that. I spent a few days at a home for mentally retarded teens. We just talked and I watched their mannerisms. People have these
expectations that mentally retarded children are really crazy, but that isn’t so. It’s refreshing to see them because everything’s so new to them.”
2. The Aviator (2004) – Lost to Jamie Foxx from Ray.
The Aviator depicts the life of aviation pioneer and movie producer Howard Hughes. Crippled by severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio)
struggles to maintain his success and prestige as he grows more and more unstable, experiencing symptoms that even a romance with Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) can’t save him from. Leonardo DiCaprio is at his absolute best: powerful, charming, serious, and sorrowful–depicting all the complexities of living with mental illness with such natural ease. This, of all the movies on the list, is a movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio really escapes his own ego to become this other person. In portraying a man obsessed with perfection, DiCaprio himself becomes perfect.
3. Blood Diamond (2006)– Lost to Forest Whitaker from The Last King of Scotland.
In the movie he is Danny Archer, “a soldier of fortune” (his words, which he instantly counters with “or is that too much of a cliche?”), enlisted into the South African army at a young age and now a hard bitten, fearless diamond smuggler who in his opening scenes is arrested for smuggling a few precious stones across the Sierra Leone border. Needless to say, his acting was superb and he stole the hearts of millions of people again with his performance.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)– Lost to Matthew McConaughey from Dallas Buyers Club.
The black comedy crime film based on a memoir of the same name was either going to be the biggest hit or the biggest miss of the 2013 Oscar season. While the truth is somewhere in between–some might say mediocre, or mostly good–the real winner in this film is Leonardo DiCaprio. His performance as Jordan Belfort, fraudulent riches-hungry stockbroker, is extreme in all the right ways: hilarious to frightening, captivating to repulsive, always inevitably expressive.
DiCaprio carries a lot of the weight of this movie on his own, only deferring to other actors, particularly Jonah Hill, when he needs some humorous support.
5. The Revenant (2015)- WON!!!!!!
So Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar.
We all know he was one of the most deserving candidates, but the preparation and personal struggle he went through in preparation for his role that won him the award has been entered in the history books, to be recounted as folklore in the far future.