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Leonardo DiCaprio – The Only Man Who STILL Needs His Oscar!

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

Titanic, Django, Gatsby, Wolf; to name but a few of this refined actor’s accomplishments. Leonardo DiCaprio has graced our silver screens since the tender age of 17, bringing with him so many memorable characters that have won our hearts and shaped our minds. However, somehow, this man, who puts everything he’s got into his performances, is still without the award above all others: an Oscar.

1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape had a young Leo star alongside Johnny Depp, another man of many talents, as Depp’s mentally handicapped younger brother. This character was only one of the first of DiCaprio’s on-screen shocks, as a majority of critics actually believed the actor suffered with a disability. Nope, merely the work of a greatly skilled artist who was yet to surprise us with so much more. Then came heartthrob Leo in the late 90’s, with his starring roles as Romeo Montague and Jack in James Cameron’s Titanic, stealing the hearts of every teenage girl of the time; a period known as “Leo-Mania”. Manic is very much an ideal description, as fans went crazy as the film star showered over the celebrity world. I will honestly never feel such love for this man other than when he’s playing bad-ass Romeo crying in a field.

Image source: hellogiggles.com

Following ‘Leo-Mania’, he continued his success in a number of reputable productions, including The Man In The Iron Mask (1998) and The Beach (2000), though his high ranking as a professional actor came with Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. Starring alongside Tom Hanks and based on the life of infamous con man Frank Abagnale, DiCaprio became even more desired in Hollywood than before, as the boy we’d cherished became a man we adored. The film received a high praise in critical response, quite notably on Leo’s refreshingly comedic approach towards one of Spielberg’s lighter films.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s most notable films, however, have probably been within the last 5 years. His crazy psychological take on his starring roles in Shutter Island and Inception (both 2010) was so thought-provoking that his performances even made me question whether we’re all really living in some augmented reality. The man can really act! However, it was Tarantino’s high-grossing western Django Unchained in 2012 really showed us how much Leo wants his award. Playing the nefarious Calvin Candie, owner of the Candyland plantation and supporter of slave-fighting, DiCaprio stole the spotlight in the confrontational dinner scene. Where the character was supposed to slam his hand down on the table, the actor accidentally smashed a glass, severely cutting his hand and bleeding profusely. Nevertheless, he continued with the scene (blood everywhere) and used it as a dramatic prop, even wiping his hand all over Kerry Washington’s horrified face. Tarantino found the accident so inspiring that it was the take used in the final production.

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The next great accomplishment for (the now slightly injured) DiCaprio was his title role in another of Baz Luhrmann’s productions, The Great Gatsby, in 2012. He was passionate about the part, stating, “Gatsby’s one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways; a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth”. Indeed Leo brought all of these interpretations to his character, where even I still don’t know what to make of him (though personally, my heart’s warming towards the hopeless romantic!). Critics claimed that Gatsby proved to be an iconic performance and, “maybe his career best,” though surprisingly it didn’t receive any awards or nominations, besides the fact it was Luhrmann’s highest grossing film to date.

It was difficult to think that this hard-working actor could top such an awakening movie as The Great Gatsby, but then came around his fifth collaboration with Scorsese in The Wolf Of Wall Street. Based on the life and success of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, his latest accomplishment in cinema won DiCaprio a Golden Globe and fourth nomination for an Academy Award. The wild, fun-filled, luxurious life of Mr. Belfort is delivered superbly by Leo, though his reactions to the numerous substances he abused is most likely the greatest entertainment throughout the film. In particular, the car scene. Belfort overdoses on new drug ‘lemons’, where he goes through numerous phases, including the newest ‘cerebral palsy phase’. The entire scene was improvised by DiCaprio, where we watch for a good few minutes as he attempts to get into his car, eventually opening the door with his foot after a great tumble down the stairs. Leonardo’s great acting skill is completely admirable in this scene, and hopefully this could be the film that wins him that Oscar, as he has been nominated for both Best Actor and Best Picture as a producer.

On the whole, we know that DiCaprio’s great film success isn’t going anywhere yet, as he still has so much more to bring to our screens and has so many more nominations to achieve. No matter what, we’ll probably always remember him as the little cutie he was as Jack. Don’t worry Leo, we’ll never let go.

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