The Year of Leo

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 10.07.29 AMphoto via Buzzfeed

 

It seems like every year around the same time I write the same thing. It usually goes like this: Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in *insert film name here* and deserves to win an Academy Award. And then, like the pain that Academy voters can be, he never wins.

But this year his future win for his role as Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” is so certain that the other Best Actor nominees shouldn’t even bother to show up. It’s not even a competition. And it pisses me off.

The truth, and I realize the hatred in your heart as well as mine when you read this, is that I don’t want him to win this year. I do, of course. It’s Leonardo DiCaprio for God’s sake! Any female of my generation can relate. We grew up with Leo. He was like some sick religion. He awakened much of who we all would one day become. He was THE guy (and still is).

But because I am part of my generation I feel fiercely protective over him. And although I’ll be cheering in my living room when Julianne Moore announces his name in February, I’m not going to be forgiving the Academy for the wrong it’s done anytime soon. There’s not many things about the Oscars I get truly mad about. I can usually get over their snubs and wrongful awarding. There was that time in 2001 when Kate Hudson didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for “Almost Famous.” That really sucked. And then there have been the times when Leo didn’t win for any of his deserving nominations or when he was never even nominated at all.

In my opinion, which is usually never the opinion of other critics, Leo has had far better performances than “The Revenant” in far better movies and the Academy failed to recognize them. What upsets me most about his impending win isn’t that “The Revenant” cannot be a worthy movie (it is) or that Leo isn’t fantastic in it (he is), but it’s the fact that he deserved it so much more at other points in his career.

“The Aviator,” “The Departed,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” all gave Leo the perfect Oscar-winning roles. And the Academy messed up and didn’t award him for any of them (In fact, he wasn’t even nominated for “The Departed.”) “Wolf” will arguably always be his best for me and I’m still sour that the Academy gave it to Matthew McConaughey two years ago just because he lost a bunch of weight for a role.

Leo has always been robbed and part of me would love to see him refuse the Oscar Brando-style just to show the Academy how wrong they can be. Because, when it comes to films that are universal and appeal to us, the normals of the world that don’t hail in Hollywood, the Academy can often forget what’s real and what’s total B.S. I’m sorry, but “Birdman” is NOT a good movie, Academy. Make that a third thing I will never forgive them for.

Now go forth Academy voters, and try to do some sweet justice this year. And be nice to my baby Leo. I do not want to write this blog again next year.

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