Awards season has begun. The Golden Globes were this past Sunday; the People’s Choice Awards were last week. The Grammys and the Oscars are coming up. But there is one injustice that needs to be addressed—other than the obvious: that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler don’t have their own show yet—and that is the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio was not nominated for an Academy Award. This is not to say, of course, that Leo needs to be validated, and that he can only be considered a great actor once he has that stupid golden statue in his hand. I’m not saying that at all. Whether you like him or not, whether you like his films or not, that he is a great actor is not up for debate; it is a fact.
That being said, did you see Leo’s face when he lost the only Golden Globe he was nominated for this year (despite an outstanding performance in Django Unchained)? It was heartbreaking. There was a sad round of “Leooo”’s in my friend’s living room where we were watching the Golden Globes. It was not a good day. Especially after Leo hadn’t gotten a single Oscar nomination this year. It’s downright disgraceful. So I put together this list of reasons the Academy should give Leo his Oscar next year. (Even though he doesn’t need a stupid Oscar.)
His Laundry List of Nominations
He’s been nominated for so many awards and won so little, including three Oscar nominations. Okay, so he’s been nominated 74 times and won 30 of those awards. That’s actually a 40% win rate, which isn’t too bad. Although Meryl Streep has a 70% win rate (just saying.) But I’m not here to compare Leo to his fellow actors. I’m merely here to point out that Leo’s talent has been acknowledged many times, three times by the Academy itself, he just hasn’t won quite as many times as I would like. Of course, he’s been up against some very stiff competition in the past. In 2005, he lost the Academy Award for best actor to Jamie Foxx and in 2007 he lost to Forest Whitaker. Leo always falls just a little short. As the old saying goes: always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
He’s a Fantastic Actor
Leo has done a film for everyone. Whether you fell in love with him as Jack Dawson in Titanic; rooted for him as Billy Costigan in The Departed; got your heart broken with him as Romeo Montague in Romeo + Juliet; fell deep into madness with him as Howard Hughes in The Aviator; debated your morality with him as Danny Archer in Blood Diamond; or, most recently, hated him as Calvin Candie in Django Uncahined, you have undoubtedly had a two-hour (give or take) long moment with Leo. No one can doubt that he is a great actor. Sure he’s picked some questionable movies—The Beach and The Man in the Iron Mask—but he acted his heart out. We can’t pretend we’re perfect and we’ve never made any mistakes ever in our lives, because that would be ludicrous. Leo’s an actor, not a saint.
He’s Still Our Favorite Heartthrob
Since Leo’s hit it big on Growing Pains beside Kirk Cameron, there has been an entire generation that watched him grow up, myself included. From What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to Titanic to Gangs of New York to Revolutionary Road to Inception, we have watched Leo’s career grow (in a totally not-creepy way.) So of course this entire group of people—fans—are outraged by Leo’s lack of Oscar nominations this year. Even Quentin Tarantino, director of Django (which was nominated for 5 Oscars,) was sorry Leo wasn’t nominated. The guy actually cut his hand, started bleeding on set and continued with the scene, which ended up in the final cut of the film. Again, not to compare actors, but this is a little bit more awesome than when Anne Hathaway tripped on a bleacher and continued on with her scene in The Princess Diaries. But Leo still didn’t get an Oscar nomination. I don’t know how much more of this the fans can take before we riot.
We Haven’t Seen the Last of Him
Leo has two films coming out in 2013: The Great Gatsby and The Wolf on Wall Street. The first of which, Gatsby, is the film many fans are staking their hope in for the 86th Academy Awards. It’s the second of Baz Luhrmann’s films that Leo has starred in (the first was Romeo + Juliet) and it looks amazing. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, I recommend you do that now. Leo portrays the titular character of F. Scott Fitgerald’s novel, Jay Gatsby. We all remember Gatsby from high school, if only just as the mysterious millionaire who’s having an affair with a girl named Daisy (in Luhrmann’s adaptation she is played by Carey Mulligan.) Maybe you didn’t read the book, maybe you read the Sparknotes or just skipped around, skimming until you got to the good parts. Either way, Leo will be embodying the character on the big screen this year and I’m certainly not the only one who’s very excited for it. That Academy, especially should pay close attention.
Needless to say, Leo’s career is far from over and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of opportunities in the future to win an Oscar. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later. But if not, he’s still got an amazing list of film credits under his belt and we’ll still love him all the same.