For months, before the 2014 Oscars, all anyone could hear about was how Leonardo Dicaprio deserved to "finally" win his Academy Award -- as if he already had some sort of claim on it. The day after, all anyone could talk about was how we was "robbed." There's only one problem with this: It's absolutely not true.
Leonardo DiCaprio did not deserve an Academy Award for his performance in The Wolf Of Wall Street, nor did he ever deserve an Academy Award for any performance prior to that. I say that with no personal bias or hatred against the actor. I think he's fine. He's certainly above the level of mediocrity that they've awarded with people like Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway. And America loves to see a mainstream blockbuster movie star "finally" take home the gold, as it's great for Oscar ratings (which, let's face it? That's really what it's all about.) But, Leo has never turned in a performance that actually deserved an Oscar. The Academy has actually done the right thing and based it off of talent and not off of ratings and politics.
Also, for all the people out there who believe Leo has been suffering year after year with no recognition? He has only actually been nominated four times. Amy Adams (who was also nominated that night) had been nominated five. Alfred Hitchcock was nominated five times with no win. Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole had seven and eight nominations respectively without winning (not counting honorary Oscars.) So, it's not like Leonardo DiCaprio is Susan Lucci-ing the Oscars.
Second, and most importantly, Leo doesn't make risk-taking movies. Leo makes self-celebratory blockbusters with a slightly serious undertone so he can perhaps be considered come Oscar time. The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained, Inception, The Departed, etc. These are all popcorn flicks for a very specific audience; brain-dead jocks who are going to go into the theater and pat themselves on the back for seeing a "real movie," yet they can still come out of it wanting to be "just like Leo." They then create quotable memes and rant about how he's "the man." And before he was doing serious popcorn flicks for guys, he was doing them for girls as "heart-throb Leo."
But, in all honesty, he hasn't really turned in a true risk-taking role since What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Are we really supposed to applaud and award him for playing another version of "bad-ass Leo" so he can masturbate to himself on screen? I understand that people like him, but he plays it safe -- and blockbuster heroes are usually well liked and well received. When it comes down to it, his films are really all elevated Fast and Furious films. They are there to drive in audiences who are going to pay big bucks and come out saying, "Yo, Leo was awesome, Bro! That dude deserves an Oscar!" Which basically means...
And then we come to the 2014 Oscars. His major competition was Chiwetel Ejiofor, who played a brutally beaten slave in 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey, who played a man struggling with his mortality as he fought the unknown AIDS virus in the eighties. And... Leo played a fun, womanizing, booze bag.
But somehow people think he deserved to win? Can people keep it in check for even five minutes?
No, Leonardo DiCaprio did not deserve to win. I have no personal bias for either of the two other actors- in fact, I don't even think Matthew McConaughey is very talented. But, at least his role was something worth awarding. Leo did not now, nor has he ever deserved an award for any of his self-obsessed blockbuster flick performances.
Leo, if you want an Oscar so bad, here's my advice; break up with Scorsese and find a good script with a juicy part that would turn most of your regular demographics off. They are not helping you. Those moronic jocks that usually say, "Yo, bro, Leo was the man!" after your movies?
When you hear them say, "Leo was such a loser in this movie! What happened?!" after one of your films?
Then you know you're on the right track to an Oscar.
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