Leonardo DiCaprio must be one of the unluckiest devastatingly good-looking Oscar-nominated movie stars in the world.
He didn't catch an Academy Award nomination this year despite a big brouhaha from his fans, all of which lauded his supporting role in Django Unchained, which is up for Best Picture.
Despite a stellar body of work (including parts in highly-acclaimed films such as Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, and J. Edgar, to name a few), DiCaprio hasn't come away with the sauce yet. He's never won an Oscar. Ever.
DiCaprio's been nominated thrice for roles in Blood Diamond (2006), The Aviator (2004), and What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), and many thought he was an obvious pick this year for his portrayal as a ruthless, plantation owner in Django, but the long-time pretty boy has no such luck. Do you think it's something he said?
Ever since DiCaprio's Titanic (1997) sunk all competition at the box office, the guy's been money: a consistent box office draw. Not only does he pack the house, the films he's chosen to be a part of are breathtakingly quirky but not too dark to scare viewers off. Known for starring in Oscar-winning films like Inception and The Departed, what's holding DiCaprio back from that win? Well, here are a few things.
1. Child star syndrome
People have seen Leo act for the past 20 years, since Growing Pains. Perhaps the masses are so accustomed to his great acting, they tend to forget that it takes a certain level of mastery to make thesbianism look effortless.
2. The films
Perhaps the films so great that they're eclipsing his powerful performances. Maybe it's time for our star to slow down with the powerful, well-written numbers and headline the dud of all dud. His performance will stick out like a sore thumb and the Academy will take note of how "DiCaprio took an ordinary film to the extraordinary." That type of charity would stand to be rewarded.
3. Good looks
Do his "sculpted from clay" chiseled good looks get in the way from judging him with integrity? Are his movies hard to keep up with because of the overwhelming amount of times people must avert their eyes so as not to be receive the "Jack Dawson" effect?
When all else fails, ask Denzel.
Many great actors toil and give their all, rarely to be acknowledged or take home the win. In 2002, Denzel Washington (nominated for Flight this year) finally received the pinnacle of validation after more than 20 years in the biz: he took home the Oscar for Best Actor (he'd previously won in 1990 for Best Supporting Actor in Glory). If anyone knows about Leo's plight, it's this guy.
So, Leo, keep doing what you're doing.
His career is brilliant thus far. He doesn't need an Oscar to validate that. But I bet he sure wouldn't mind one.