BY DEOYE FALADE
So The Revenant is leading the race for the 2016 Oscars with 12 nominations, with Mad Max: Fury Road scoring 10. Both films have been nominated for best picture, along with The Big Short, Bridge of Spies (good lord I loved this one!), Brooklyn, The Martian (and this!), Room and Spotlight.
Also, Eddie Redmayne would be hoping to repeat his 2015 success, against Leonardo DiCaprio for the best actor award.
But do I really care about Redmayne, nominated this year for his role as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl? No. I heard he was fantastic, and considering the performance that won him an Oscar in 2015 for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, it would be hard betting against him.
I also don’t care about the Oscars – much. I probably have some slow burning resentment for the award because I feel that one of the greatest thespians alive just keeps getting nominations but never wins. DiCaprio, star of The Revenant has been nominated four times before now but has yet to win an Academy Award.
I’m amazed. Every time he turns in a really good performance, we get our hearts broken when he gets a nomination but doesn’t win. Bhet why?
Someone even said that, “It’s not that he hasn’t been worthy any number of times or that he has any failings as a human being that would preclude such an honor. But the kinds of movies that DiCaprio has been making for the last decade in an alleged attempt to win the fabled award are so important and so unique in this movie-going landscape that I don’t want to take the risk that he’ll stop making them once he wins the award.”
This is someone who for the most part (besides the not so fantastic movies like Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby), has made hits (please get Olamide out of your mind!) for Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, Wolf of Wall Street), Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can), Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond), Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road), Chris Nolan (Inception), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant).
Still, not one award and you would really scratch your head when you look at some of his competitors in those years that he didn’t win – and just might end up boring into your scalp. Now, other than Redmayne, he’s up against nominees like Michael Fassbender for biopic Steve Jobs, Matt Damon for space saga The Martian and Bryan Cranston for Trumbo.
And there’s a parallel here. Life & the Academy Awards just seems to be a bit cruel to DiCaprrio like his frequent collaborator, Martin Scorsese, who won his first ever Best Director award at the Oscars, for The Departed in 2007 – four decades into the director’s career as a filmmaker (after smashing movies like Goodfellas and Raging Bull). That year, Paul Greengrass’ really deserving film, United 93, lost to Scorsese’s The Departed, which was good but not as great by his standards. So much that it looks like if DiCaprio wins it now, it’s going to look like a consolation prize.
But some of us don’t care. We want this win and it’s been far too long coming.
Maybe DiCaprio is to the Oscars what Tupac was to the Grammys. Maybe winning for The Revenant would be seen as a consolation and wouldn’t really be as satisfying. Maybe by now, his not winning an Oscar cannot in any way diminish his legendary status as an actor. Maybe we need Steve Harvey to host this year’s Oscars (evil grin right here).
Regardless, this just might be DiCaprio’s year and his fans (and the internet) wouldn’t see him as being undeserving in any way.