Monday, 3 March 2014

Reasons Why Leonardo DiCaprio Deserved an Oscar

After two decades worth of award worthy performances, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has once again failed to receive the prestigious Academy Award. What's up with that?

Following the global tour during Awards season which took the 39 year-old actor to the BAFTA's here in the UK, the 86th Academy awards, which happened yesterday, did not prove as successful as one would have hoped for the former child star.

That's not to say competition was not as tough as ever, other candidates for the Best Male Actor award included Christian Bale, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor - and winner - Matthew McConaughey, whose role in Dallas Buyers Club, in which the actor endured a serious weight loss for the part, scooped the golden stature and dedicated the award to his late father. Furthermore, the character he played is based on a real person, who suffered a life threatening disease and a character regularly seen at these types of awards ceremonies in which characters fight for the greater good of others.

This is not to say DiCaprio's, Wolf of Wall Street  did not share any similarities with McConaughey's character - Jordan Belfort, the protagonist in the Scorsesse directed flick involve a tainted stock broker who is, believe it or not, based on a real person. DiCaprio may not have had to suffer himself to earn the part, unless you include the unorthodox sex scenes as 'suffering'. Would the Academy actually decide not to award an actor - who arguably deserves an Oscar - the award due to his irresponsible actions?

However, when you look back at both actor's portfolios, there's no doubt the former Titanic star's long list of diverse characters has made the actor a somewhat underdog, nominated a total of 4 times and losing them all. From playing a child with autism in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, to the astounding performance in the similarly Scorsesse directed The Aviator, its astonishing to think the actor has yet to be given the ultimate reward for providing audiences - and critics alike - diverse, unique and complicated characters.

McConaughey on the other hand, began his career as a shirtless rom-com actor. That's not to say shirtless rom-com actors are tasteless and lack integrity. I'm sure McCounauhey's fans have no qualms with his shirtless performance in Magic Mike, two summer's ago; the more serious roles such as the intriguing new HBO dram True Detective have appeared to build the actor's CV with serious, and challenging roles.

Over the last two-decades, DiCaprio has explored each genre, tackling ethically ambiguous characters (Django Unchained) forbidden romance (Titanic) to a celebrated American literature figure (The Great Gatsby), confusing summer blockbusters (Inception) a drug abusing teen basketball player (The Basketball Diaries), and most recently...

Of course, Leonardo is not the only cinematic legend who has seemingly failed to impress the Academy, Johnny Depp (Edward Scissor hands) also lacks the most prestigious award Hollywood can offer its actors.
Is there still hope for Leonardo? As one of the world's most beloved and adored actors of our generation, he is not deficient of loving and dedicated fans - who made #OscarforLeo one of the trending topics on Twitter last night. Whether DiCaprio wins next year, the next, or a decade from now, I have no doubt DiCaprio will have the opportunity to stand on the podium in front of glamorously dressed A-listers and humbly thank his friends and family for their continued support, on what has been a long, long journey. Ultimately, a deserved one.

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