Sunday, November 16, 2014

Leonardo DiCaprio and the elusive Oscar

       Leonardo DiCaprio is considered one of the best-known actors of not only our generation but of all time. He started on the screen as a child actor over twenty years ago on the television show Growing Pains and still continues to wow audiences to present day. But even though Leonardo DiCaprio is arguably at the utmost highest caliber of actors he still does not possess an Oscar. The Oscar is considered the universally standard recognition of top quality performance in the American cinema industry, especially for acting, and yet it still has evaded DiCaprio’s grasp. Though he has been nominated five times already for an Oscar, once as a producer, once as best supporting actor, and three times for the best actor category he just never ends up on top.  

        It is true that Leonardo Dicaprio’s movies are brilliantly written but most times it is his enlightened acting that shines as the most prominent strength of the film. It is DiCaprio’s acting that for the large part makes the film memorable, which is why directors haven chosen him in their films. Some of DiCaprio's greatest films are: 

Inception (2010)
Shutter Island (2010)
The Departed (2006)
Aviator (2004)
Gangs of New York (2002)

       A highly debated argument on why Leonardo DiCaprio has not won an Oscar is he is not that “type” of actor, as in contemporary rather than traditional. There are certain actors who are considered “cool” actors, ones who are successful and talented but they aren’t traditional actors or method actors. Actors similar to DiCaprio such as Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt or Jonny Depp, who play thoroughly entertaining characters more centered toward teens and mid-20s audiences. 

       The unofficial standard for this coolness is the Pitt-Hanks spectrum, this predicts the likelihood of an actor to win an Oscar, the closer to “cool” Pitt the less likely to win. Actors who play characters who are perceived as weaker, or closer to a relatable person are the ones more likely to win. There are many issues with this ideology of cool actors not winning; it severely hinders actors experimenting with roles that don’t qualify as “Oscar worthy.” Although it is set that a certain character will win should indicate that actors should strive toward those characters is pretty intuitive, that should not be the basis of the win.        
          But regardless of academy award status and not being officially recognized by the academy itself, DiCaprio realizes thats not what it means to be a good actor and has been extremely positive about it all.    

No comments: