Should DiCaprio Win the Oscar?
an Editorial (and English Essay…) by, John Hayeck
There are many popular actors and actresses working in Hollywood today, one of the most talented of whom is Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio began his big-screen career in the critically acclaimed film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. DiCaprio’s role in Gilbert Grape earned him his first Oscar nomination in 1994. Leo did not the award for Best Supporting Actor that year, however he would go on to star in many more acclaimed movies over the next twenty years. To this day though, Leonardo DiCaprio has still not won an Oscar for any role he has portrayed, and he is again nominated this year for his work in The Revenant. DiCaprio has become a very popular celebrity over the course of his career, which has led many of his fans to believe that he should win an Academy Award for any role he is in. With the Oscars just under a month away, this hype has risen greatly, and has prompted me to wonder: should Leo win the Oscar this year?
Though all film is subjective, my thoughts on whether Leonardo DiCaprio should win the Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards is highly opinionated. That being said, I personally believe that DiCaprio should not win the Oscar this year. DiCaprio did turn in a very realistic performance in The Revenant (a film I enjoyed quite a bit), and apparently, he even ate raw bison liver to portray the grit of the 19th century frontier (Miller). This physicality in performance is admirable, but DiCaprio has ultimately presented better characters in his films before, such as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (my favorite performance and film from DiCaprio thus far) and Jack Dawson in Titanic. In The Revenant, DiCaprio had remarkably little dialogue, leaving the audience few chances to learn about the character. Hugh Glass, the character he portrayed, was a real frontiersman who could have made for a fascinating character. However, DiCaprio’s physical performance seemed to be more of a feat for himself that did not translate thematically as well as he had hoped. Other actors in 2015 portrayed their characters with emotional performances that trumped over the realistic, yet only okay, performance of Leo in The Revenant.
The Academy Award for Best Lead Actor should go to the actor who best portrays his character in a film. This year, I would give that award to Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs, as the titular innovator. Fassbender keeps your eyes locked on the screen, conveys the essence of his character remarkably well, and feels like a full rounded character. Eddie Redmayne as Lile Elbe and Matt Damon as Mark Watney (in The Danish Girl and The Martian respectively) were also incredible both emotionally and physically. Though Leonardo DiCaprio may have given one of the year’s better performances, Fassbender, Redmayne, and Damon gave the performances of their careers. I believe that Michael Fassbender had a mountain to climb in portraying an icon such as Steve Jobs, and to do it so well definitely deserves the recognition of a voting body as prestigious as the Academy.
Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors. I believe he is immensely talented and I always look forward to seeing his films. I think that DiCaprio absolutely deserves an Oscar or two at some before his career ends, but 2016 should not be his year. The character of Hugh Glass was portrayed in a very gritty but somewhat stunted way, whereas other performances like that of Michael Fassbender triumph. Realistically, there is a good chance DiCaprio will win the Oscar, as the Screen Actors Guild Awards typically predicts the winners in all four Oscar acting categories, and DiCaprio won Best Lead Actor at that ceremony. However, the true fates of DiCaprio and Fassbender will remain uncertain until the night of the actual Academy Awards…
Miller, Julie. “Leonardo DiCaprio Explains Why He Ate Actual Raw Bison Liver for The Revenant.” Vanity Fair. Condé Nast, 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.
So guys, those are my formal thoughts on who should take home the Best Actor Oscar this year! Do you guys agree with me? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.