Playing Oscar Bingo With Leonardo DiCaprio

The following was pitched to and published by Culture Fly


“Matthew McConaughey.”

When those words left Jennifer Lawrence’s lips as she presented the Best Actor Award at the 86th Academy AwardsTwitter exploded. Not with words of congratulation for the deserving Mr Alright-Alright-Alright, but with commiseration for the professional dadbod flaunter, Hollywood Heartthrob and all-round professional partier, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Within minutes of McConaughey taking the stage, the number of tweets with #poorleo spiked, memes were shared and Tumblrs made, all dedicated to Leo’s fourth near miss (he’s been nominated for What’s Eating Gilbert GrapeThe AviatorBlood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street). Pictures of Leo on his omnipresent yacht, armed with a pair of binoculars were captioned “Still Looking for an Oscar”, spread like wildfire as it began to appear that the man who “became global culture” (thanks, Baz Luhrmann) was never going to get the Oscar people believe he desires.

Leo himself probably doesn’t care about the golden statuette; he’s too busy working with the industry’s best filmmakers, saving the world, flying into space or something similar. He doesn’t need an Oscar, but when he does eventually win, the internet is going to go into such a meltdown it will make crawling to the car on ‘ludes look easy.

Regardless of whether or not Leo actually wants an Oscar, the former leader of the Pussy Posse’s filmography contains roles that hit all the cliché Oscar hotspots. Here are a select few:

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (dir Lasse Hallström)

Nomination numero uno //©ParamountPictures
Nomination numero uno //©ParamountPictures

Leo was awarded his first nomination for his role as Arnie Grape, the mentally ill teenager and brother of the titular Gilbert (Johnny Depp). Straight off the bat, Leo goes large, with his performance verging on “full retard” (to borrow Kirk Lazarus’ phrase) but with the help of a near-silent Depp, Leo is able to rein it in and give a touching performance.

Oscar Bingo: Disabled character

The Basketball Diaries (dir Scott Kalvert)

Just a young actor trying to make his way //©NewLineCinema
Just a young actor trying to make his way //©NewLineCinema

Another performance from the embryonic stages of his career, Leo plays a former high school basketball star, Jim Carroll, who prostitutes himself to score some heroin. A darker, grittier performance than the touching Arnie Grape, this is where Leo planted his flag and announced he was here to stay.

Oscar Bingo: Drug addiction

Gangs of New York (dir Martin Scorsese)

Dammit Daniel Day-Lewis //©Miramax
Dammit, Daniel Day-Lewis //©Miramax

The second film after his first proper failure with The BeachGangs of New York was Leo attempting to move away from the heartthrob aftermath of Titanic. Working with a fabled director, using an occasionally dodgy Irish accent and acting alongside some greats, this tale of revenge had everything needed for nomination number two. Alas, he was acted off the screen by Daniel Day-Lewis and Amsterdam became one of his least memorable performances.

Oscar Bingo: Respected director; period setting; A-list cast; epic runtime

The Aviator (dir Martin Scorsese)

Playing an obsessive might do the trick //©Miramax
Playing an obsessive might do the trick //©Miramax

Mental illness, period drama, real-life figure, The Aviator is Leo teasing his fanbase with a performance that was truly awards worthy and was rightly nominated. As Howard Hughes, Leo holds the audiences attention for almost three hours and even surpasses the normally unsurpassable Cate Blanchett.

Oscar Bingo: Period setting; respected director; rags-to-riches story; mental Illness; epic runtime

J. Edgar (dir Clint Eastwood)

Make up, lots of make up //©WarnerBrothers
Make up, lots of make up //©WarnerBrothers

Buried under mountains of make up, this is probably Leo’s most transparent attempt at Oscar glory. His performance holds the film together, but they are the only good things about this film as Clint Eastwood lets his worst directing tendencies take over.

Oscar Bingo: Real-life character; heavy prosthetic make up

The Great Gatsby (dir Baz Luhrmann)

Playing a renown literary figure should do the trick //©WarnerBrothers
Playing a renown literary figure should do the trick //©WarnerBrothers

There probably wasn’t another actor currently working who could have played F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby. Looking cool in the shirts, Leo plays the role straight and, along with Joel Edgerton, is the only one who makes a performance that would work outside of Luhrmann’s ADHD, migraine-inducing adaptation.

Oscar Bingo: Adaptation of a famous novel; beloved literary character; period setting

The Revenant (dir Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Fed up of his near misses, Leo goes deep for his latest role in an attempt to finally be given that little golden man. The film’s troubled production will probably be more famous than the actual movie but Leo’s dedication to his craft cannot be denied. Hopefully, braving the remote Canadian wilderness and eating raw Bison liver will get Leo what he deserves and make the internet happy.

Oscar Bingo: So-hot-right-now director; troubled production; struggled for their craft; period setting; deserves it; epic runtime

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