Isn’t it a little too crazy to think that Leonardo DiCaprio has been acting since he was five, but didn’t win an Academy Award until recently?
Over the years, he has been in some of the most financially successful and critically acclaimed movies of all time, and he finally received his long due Oscar for his performance in ‘The Revenant’. But, the problem was that a lot of people agreed that he had given better performances in a lot of his earlier movies.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie and he obviously went through hell to make it, but for the most part, people were more concerned about Leo’s suffering than the character’s plight. It’s not really fair that Leo’s winning performance would always be tainted by the fact that he was just due for an Oscar.
Here are some of his movies, for which he really did deserve an Oscar.
1. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)
More than two decades ago, Leonardo DiCaprio received his first Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Johnny Depp’s mentally impaired younger brother in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ This came as his breakthrough role, and it was a tough one to play, but critics raved about his portrayal of Arnie, who he played with a lot of accuracy and without any condescension.
But unfortunately, he lost the award to Tommy Lee Jones in ‘The Fugitive’. Sorry, Leo.
2. The Aviator (2004)
With this movie, DiCaprio stunned critics with his transformation into film producer and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes. Honestly, playing a famous historical figure is a sure shot way to get an Oscar nomination, and ‘The Aviator’ obviously managed to do that, receiving a staggering 11 Oscar nominations, taking home five of them.
But, Leo wasn’t one of those lucky winners, instead he lost the award to Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for ‘Ray’. Sorry, Leo.
3. The Departed (2006)
Leonardo DiCaprio was overlooked for this movie, maybe because no awards academy could figure out whether to put him in the lead or supporting category, since it was an ensemble movie. But, ‘The Departed’ did manage to take over four Academy Awards, including a much-deserved win for director Martin Scorsese. And, out of the outstanding cast, only Mark Wahlberg was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
But honestly, Leo gave an incredible performance as undercover police officer Billy Costigan, and his portrayal of a paranoid, gradually disintegrating cop was unjustly shut out. Sorry, Leo.
4. Shutter Island (2010)
Over the years, Leo has become some kind of a pro at playing characters who have it all, and are slowly losing their grip on reality, and ‘Shutter Island’ is a perfect example of it. In this movie, he plays a US Marshal who gradually loses his mind after he goes to investigate a psychiatric facility when one of the patients goes missing.
There is no one in Hollywood who can play the tragedy of someone struggling and failing to adjust to reality than Leonardo DiCaprio. Sorry, Leo.
5. Inception (2010)
Making Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending tale of mental invasion and memory relatable enough for the mass audience was a tough task, but DiCaprio’s performance as Dom Cobb made it all possible. ‘Inception’ was probably the most ambitious movie of that year, as it was really pushing the envelope for what the cinematic medium could portray.
But, unfortunately for Leo, Jeff Bridges took home the award for playing an alcoholic country singer in ‘Crazy Heart’. Sorry, Leo.
6. Django Unchained (2012)
It is truly shameful that he did not even get a nomination for his chilling performance of a vile plantation owner Calvin Candie, especially seeing him as such a repellent villain is quite a shock to the system. Honestly, he deserves so much more recognition for just that famous glass-smashing scene alone, where he accidently sliced open his hand for real. Using his injury for a greater effect, he kept the scene going, even though all the other actors in the scene quite frankly looked terrified.
7. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
This one’s a no-brainer, everyone though he was going to put an end to all the Oscar memes that year. If you’ve watched the movie, you would know that Leonardo DiCaprio DESERVED an Oscar for his phenomenal performance in Jordan Belfort’s coke-addled memoir turned wild Scorsese movie. Maybe it was just a very competitive year, since he was up against HIV and Slavery, both of which are far more award-friendly topics than super-rich, morally bankrupt addicts. But, his terrifyingly believable portrayal of Belford did deserve some recognition.
He lost the Best Actor trophy to his co-star Matthew McConaughey. That must be hard.
But, finally it happened! All thanks to ‘The Revenant’, he went from this
to this, at last.