And the Oscar goes to: Leonardo DiCaprio

By on February 10, 2016


Best Actor nominees

Since the nominations for the Academy Awards were announced I’ve been going through as many nominated films as possible. It gets kind of tough as some of their availability in our market has dried up. Anyway, let’s take a look at the fellas who have a chance to walk home with an Oscar on Sunday, February 28.

It looks like Eddie Redmayne could be the morally popular pick for his transgender role in “The Danish Girl,” and Michael Fassbender has gotten his fair share of kudos for his portrayal of the computer wizard in “Steve Jobs.” The fan favorite — which may also turn out to be the Academy’s — is Leonardo DiCaprio for his role in “The Revenant.”

Since we looked at the “The Revenant” during the last Reel Reviews I won’t go into a ton of details about the movie itself, but let me tell you why DiCaprio deserves an Oscar.

“The Wolf of Wall Street.” “Blood Diamond.” “The Aviator.” All of these movies have great performances by DiCaprio, and he was nominated for Best Actor for each. The Academy has a way of rewarding an actor by just giving them a win after compiling a handful of past nominations. I think it’s the way they validate themselves for something, who knows?


In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio garnered his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Howard Hughes in “The Aviator.” Film reviewer Michael Upton says it’s time for DiCaprio to have his day — and his golden statue.

In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio garnered his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Howard Hughes in “The Aviator.” Film reviewer Michael Upton says it’s time for DiCaprio to have his day — and his golden statue.


Now, I don’t believe the Academy will be giving DiCaprio a win. He has earned the nomination, and the win, in “The Revenant.” His physical portrayal of a man who is on the edge of death for almost the entire movie is riveting. His pain, torture, and anguish seem so real. He produces more emotion with guttural noises and glassy eyes, than most actors could do with a magic cherub’s bow, long stem roses, and a box of chocolates.

Another reason he can win is the DiCaprio Factor. The actor became many a young girl’s favorite star with appearances in the 90’s TV hit “Growing Pains,” and for his roles in movies like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “The Basketball Diaries,” during the same decade. He became a heartthrob. He was cast as the cute guy. Critics, and many other film fans, wrote off his talents. For years DiCaprio carried around some invisible sign declaring he was not a real actor. I think minds have changed. Some of those minds may be in the Academy.

Last but not least, if the Golden Globes are any kind of precursor, as sometimes they are, DiCaprio will win the actor category as he did on Jan. 10. Of course, this all conjecture. DiCaprio will also have to compete with Bryan Cranston and Matt Damon.

Cranston stars in what can be best described as a movie-lover’s-movie. “Trumbo” tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, one of the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood before the Red Scare invaded production studios. At the time of his blacklisting he was the industry’s highest paid writer. After imprisonment, Trumbo fought back and wrote “Exodus” and “Spartacus.” Based on the biography penned by Bruce Cook, “Trumbo” could easily become an Academy favorite, awarding Cranston the golden statue.

Damon is in a funny situation. No one is really taking “The Martian” seriously. He plays astronaut Mark Watney, who is stranded on Mars when his crew leaves him behind during a space storm. The drama is packed with comedic moments as Watney struggles alone on the foreign planet. Damon is the longshot.

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