Oh Leo, oh Leo, oh me-o, oh mi-o.
He wants an Oscar so badly that it must be taking up his every waking minute. It must be gnawing at him. Grinding at his very soul, from the early morning til the winking of the stars at night, as he stares wistfully into the cruel, unfair, unforgiving cosmos that simply refuses to reward him for his selfless energies.
How can a world, that seems so broad and encompassing, be so heartless and punishing to this saint among men. To this paragon of hard work and virtuousity?
Yes, The Revanant is the latest effort by the multi-millionaire actor to get an award. I could give more fucks about almost anything than whether Leonardo di Caprio gets, or deserves an Oscar. But, here we are, and everyone seems to think that he’s finally done enough.
He’s spent weeks in cold weather, water and mud. Traipsed through hard landscape and taken, no doubt equally hard, instructions from a movie director, and for what? A few bloody million dollars and global acclaim. The poor sod.
Leo is a good actor. He’s good in films. Or, more precisely, he’s good at being in films. Or, more precisely still, he’s good at being Leo in films. And there’s the problem. There’s the nub of why he doesn’t have an Oscar. He’s not convincing at being anyone else. He’s Leonardo di Caprio. Everyone knows he is. You never think he’s anyone else. You just think that you’re watching Leonardo di Caprio in a film, because you are.
There are a few actors like this. Jack Nicholson is one. Kevin Costner is another. Nic Cage too. They don’t play characters, they are themselves and we like that, because they’ve carved a niche. Daniel Day Lewis plays characters, so does Christian Bale. But Leo plays Leo. That’s not enough.
Revanant is shot beautifully, it looks real, and real unpleasant in parts. But Leo isn’t even the best actor in it, let alone in the rest of the Best Actor category. You’ll enjoy the watching experience, and it’ll win some awards. Leo may even win, but that’ll be because people will decide it’s about time, and they know it. And, so will he, so it’ll be a hollow victory, and his midnight gazing into space will not end. Not yet.