The 2016 Annual Academy Awards nominations have recently been announced, with lot of interesting favorites among the various categories. One of the biggest questions concerns whether renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio will finally take home an Oscar for his work in The Revenant. The film marks DiCaprio’s fifth acting nomination. DiCaprio’s first nomination was for Best Supporting Actor way back in 1994. After that, he was nominated for his role as Howard Hughes in The Aviator in 2005. In 2007, he was nominated for Best Actor for his work in Blood Diamond; and in 2014, he got a Best Actor nomination for The Wolf of Wall Street. This would be DiCaprio’s fifth nomination. Can he finally pull it off?
One thing that works in Leonardo DiCaprio’s favor: he is an acclaimed actor who has been recognized for his work in great films throughout the year. The problem? He has yet to take home a coveted Oscar. But the reason this works for him is that sometimes the Academy voters pick winners for a body of work. What else? Sometimes there is a sense that actors receive an Oscar for a particular role because they did not get one for a film they should have. Essentially, it boils down to, “We’re sorry we didn’t give you the award before; so now, here you go.” DiCaprio has built up an impressive body of work over the years, and that could help him finally take home the Best Actor prize in 2016. Not to mention, his work in The Revenant has received a strong amount of critical acclaim. The Revenant was his best reviewed movie for which he received the Best Actor nomination outside of The Aviator (via Rotten Tomatoes).
DiCaprio did excellent work in The Revenant as the 19th century tracker, guide, hunter and trapper Hugh Glass. Along with Alejandro González Iñárritu’s expert direction, DiCaprio does an amazing job of putting you up close and personal with the character. The actor endured some pretty agonizing feats in order to make the role look and feel authentic. Per The Hollywood Reporter, DiCaprio was constantly forced to perform in freezing cold rivers, eat raw bison liver and sleep in animal carcasses. DiCaprio described the film shoot as “agonizing.” In addition, The Wrap reports that the film went way over its initial budget, coming in at a whopping $135 million. The technique paid off in dividends with a visceral film and performance.
The tough part is that DiCaprio has some pretty stiff competition for the Best Actor prize. He faces Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl, Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs and Matt Damon for The Martian. Redmayne pulled off an impressive win last year for his work as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. One interesting thing to note: the film with the best reviews across the board on
Tomatoes’ tomato meter is The Martian, starring Matt Damon. This award marks Damon’s third acting nomination. However, Damon actually won an Oscar already way back in 1998 for Best Original Screenplay with Good Will Hunting. Now, the question becomes: Does the Academy collectively think it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s time? Well, the odds do look good in his favor.