I remember in 6th grade, my crush had a crush on Leo based on his portrayal of every young woman’s fantasy in Titanic, which I still have not seen and am waiting to see with a chick someday (at no rush). That’s when I first knew and hated Leonardo DiCaprio.
Of course beforehand was Gilbert Grape, which is an ingenious film and was perhaps the first time he got robbed of the golden man.
I can’t remember if it was Blood Diamond or Catch Me If You Can that first made me respect the man. You gotta. He’s got talent, and this year, he will finally get the damn thing.
Here are just a few reasons why.
1) Blood Diamond
Few movies and actors have done this well. Overall, a great film and performance, but there’s one scene that shines. Breaking the principle to “show not tell” and following the principle to avoid cheesy flashbacks, Leo’s character recounts to Jennifer Connelly’s how he watched his parents die.
“God will never forgive us for what we done to each other,” says DiCaprio. If that scene doesn’t get you, nothing will.
2) Catch Me If You Can
A four-corners meeting of the best talent here: Spielberg, Hanks, Walken, and Leo.
“Where you gonna be tonight?” asked Christopher Walken to his con-man son, DiCaprio. The film manages to be a fun caper but also plunge to the depths of human emotion (his face when Hanks says, “They’re gonna kill you.”).
Just the bar art when - on Christmas - Leo makes circles of water connect while on the phone with Tom Hanks, I mean that was skillz. (Laughs)
He’s “Scorsese's Boy” for a reason, and here’s a big one. The masterful portrayal of the spoiled-brat billionaire germaphobe has us in awe for the full 3 hours, ending in the climactic courtroom scene opposite Alec Baldwin. Great stuff!
He gets you to believe he’s that way, especially if it’s the first time you’ve seen him in a movie. Shit, you tear up at a couple parts. Definitely a fantastic performance.
And - by the way - he's perhaps one of "count them on one hand" child actors that made it past puberty on the big screen. Maybe Jodie Foster? Anyone else?
5) The Departed
Walberg was great but it was Leo’s character that did the most suffering in this film. Everything from getting his wrist rebroken by Jack Nicholson to having his true identity on the brink of being erased at all times, he really had to sweat this one through.
I mean, come on. Nobody else came close this year (Fassbender, but that's it). Depp played some sort of snake in the “too much violin” mob movie and didn’t even (and didn’t deserve to) get a nod.
DiCaprio pulls out all the stops in this one: freezes his balls off, eats God-knows-what, sleeps in a fucking horse, jumps off a cliff and goddam waterfall, and - of course - is raped by a fucking (CGI) Grizzly bear. The stitches alone after that shit! Plus he sticks up for Native Americans in his Globe speech.
Will they give it to him just for Revenant? Yes. Will it be a "because we fucked you over all these years" also? Yes. Did I forget to mention Wolf of Wall Street? Yeah.
And Inception! What am I thinking? You see what I mean.
The point is - he's getting it. And it’s about goddam time.