The undisputed King Of the World celebrated his birthday yesterday and we think we know what he wished for after he blew out his candles for the 41st time.
With almost 40 films under his belt, our little lion man, Leonardo DiCaprio, still hasn’t snagged an Academy Award. After tons of other accolades, countless dalliances with supermodels and a pulsating boner for environmentalism, it’s possible he gives zero fucks on the matter. But we’re not going to let that stop us from playing Adele’s ‘Hello’ on repeat, peeling the lid off a pint of salted caramel gelato and sulking over what might have been.
The first film is a given. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is a heart-wrenching tale of a younger, hotter Johnny Depp living in Iowa and caring for his obese mother and developmentally challenged brother, Arnie. For some, Arnie was a first glimpse of Leo (for all you non-Growing Pains fans, that is). The role earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Academy Awards in 1994 that he sadly lost, which really blows because tons of people believed and referred to him as “that retarded kid” for years after. It was arguably his best performance to date.
The Beach was all about evoking a sense of wanderlust; traveling alone in Southeast Asia, drinking all the snake blood money can buy, stealing French girls away from their overbearing French boyfriends - all the things! It’s not everyday you’re bequeathed a map to an island inhabited by heavily armed weed farmers and a Utopian society – unless, of course, you’re Leonardo DiCaprio traveling alone in Southeast Asia drinking all the snake blood money can buy. The Beach is the story of discovering paradise and learning to what ends you would go to keep it. The film is also noted for us westerners’ introduction to goddess Tilda Swinton. And remember that Moby song “Porcelain”? Cool. Just keep that to yourself. After a little research it turns out that this film was actually nominated … for an MTV Teen Choice Award. Oh well, we’ll always have Kopanang.
Biopics often evolve slowly, but The Aviator moved slower than the frickin Spruce Goose. The film did have a purpose though: as the vessel that delivered the Best Supporting Actress Oscar into Cate Banchett’s superbly moisturized hands. She was immaculate as Katherine Hepburn. But there’s also something to be said for Leo’s portrayal of billionaire germaphobe Howard Hughes. Especially when he goes all long haired and creepy-nailed invalid and starts wizzing in mason jars.
Leo’s role as smooth talking plantation owner Calvin Candie in Django Unchained is probably his best recent work. Dark comedy really suits him. He sustained a hand injury during one of the most intense scenes of the film and powers through like a boss. Most importantly, though, is that he made you despise him – thems good actin’ chops.
Was Romeo + Juliet nominated for a major award? Whatever, we don’t care because it wins our hearts forever. The modern interpretation of the world’s greatest tragedy swapped guns for swords, Italy for SoCal, and Leo was at his peak teen scene hotness as Romeo Montague. Juliet, played by Claire Danes fresh off the set of My So Called Life, was all we needed to fulfill our puberty-fueled destinies. Plus, had any of us seen drag up until the moment Mercutio shows up? But back to the more pertinent subject … this boy.
Hey Leonardo, don't let the bastards get you down.
And as an added bonus, we HAM'd ya!