Thursday, February 25, 2016

Leo's Quest

Award season is in full swing and Leonardo DiCaprio has a movie out.  That can only mean one thing: everyone and their momma is wondering if this is finally the year that Leo reaches the promised land and win himself an Oscar.  And he really has a shot this year.  He stars in The Revenant and is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in Leading Role.  It's his 4th nomination in that category and 5th nomination overall.  (Leo was nominated for a Supporting Actor role for What's Eating Gilbert Grape.)  I heard a lot of great things about The Revenant so I went to the nearest AMC and peeped game.  Let me tell you, I was blown away.  It was an absolutely breath-taking, gorgeous movie.  I thought Alejandro González Iñárritu did a superb job directing Birdman last year, but he outdid himself this time.  Talk about a cinematic masterpiece.  Just beautifully shot from start to finish.  Plus, as co-president of the Tracking Shot Appreciation Club, (Omar De La Cruz is the other), I found myself drooling over what can only be described as tracking shots galore!  I'm calling it right now.  Your back to back Best Achievement in Directing Winner, Alejandro!  (Did I mention he's Mexican?!?)

Look, I don't want to get into a whole movie review about The Revenant.  I'm here to talk Leo.  If you want to read a great review about this film check out Liz Medrano's page.  Her take on the film is better than anything I could have come up with.  The only thing I can really say is that I personally loved and it earned the coveted Guapo Stamp of Approval.  The Revenant has a good chance of winning an Oscar.  I think Best Director is a lock.  Where does this leave Leo?  Does he deserve to hold that gold statue?  This was a really good performance by Leo.  I mean, this was some gritty shit he was pulling off.  So my next question then is, should we be rooting for DiCaprio to take home the gold?

You're looking at this question like I'm an asshole for bringing this up, but let me just start by saying I am rooting for the guy.  I love Leonardo DiCaprio!  He's the perfect mix of bankable movie star and great actor.  (Yes, there's a difference.  Tom Cruise is a movie star with some acting chops, Sean Penn is a great actor who you wouldn't exactly put on your blockbuster movie poster.)  I do want Leonardo to get his Oscar.  I think he already should have an Oscar.  Nobody could have played Jordan Belfort better than Leo.  I can't think of one actor who would have done a better job in The Wolf of Wall Street.  But McConaughey was riding a hot streak and was amazing in Dallas Buyers Club.  That's nobody's fault.  Leo has been a consistently great actor since the 90's and has an amazing IMDb page mixed with heavy box office hitters like Titanic and Inception and Oscar darlings like The Departed and Titanic.  (Titanic held the box office record for at least a decade and took home 11 Oscars including Best Picture.)  If Leonardo DiCaprio is starring in your film, you're either going to make a lot of money or take home some awards.  Sometimes both.  I want that guy to be rewarded.  But I find myself arguing the other way.  Hold on a sec.  Let me just play Devil's advocate here.  (No Keanu Reeves.)  Wouldn't it be better if the Oscars didn't give Leo the Oscar?  (GASP!)

Okay, somebody just threw a brick through my window.  Windows ain't cheap!  Somebody is going to have to pay for that!  But hear me out.  I have legitimate reasons of why the Academy should withhold giving Leo that golden statuette.  Yes, one of the reasons is because I am an asshole who takes pleasure in the misery of others.  I'm the type of person who would laugh at a fat kid getting stuck in a Chuck E. Cheese playpen.  On Tumblr I follow a page called The Agony of Defeat, which is just a series of photos capturing the the absolute anguish of athletes losing competitions and games.  In the words of Alfred, some men just want to watch the world burn.  But again, I like Leo.  I thought his Golden Globes speech about how the stories of the indigenous peoples needs to be told was a powerful statement that needed to be said.  I'm glad he's the one who said it.  And quite frankly the Academy has done him dirty with snubs.  Enough to post another edition of The Art of Getting Snubbed.  Some of them I get.  He wasn't going to beat Forest Whitaker for his portrayal of Idi Amin.  But how was he not even nominated for The Departed?  But since Leo is no stranger to snubs, why even break the cycle.  We have good thing going!  Leo makes a great movie, we love it, Leo does not get an Oscar, he makes another great movie.  He's like the Wile E. Coyote of actors.

Plus, with every snub he gets it feels like he just wants it more.  The longer the Academy holds out on him the more extreme his roles are going to get.  This last movie he was attacked by a bear, saw his son get murdered, and was left for dead in the cold snow.  Leo will go further than this!  He just needs a little push.  In a few years he might play a blind, gay guy who wants to be a boxer.  In 10 years he might pull a Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder and play a black guy.  Can you see Leo play Walter in a movie remake of A Raisin in the Sun?  Can you see the Academy nominate him and then crush his dream and not give him the gold?  Can you see the Academy nominate him, but not any of the cast played by black actors? (Serious, though.  The Academy does have a race issue.  Even deeper than that, I think Hollywood has a race issue.)  I want to see how deep this rabbit hole goes.  I think we owe it to ourselves to root for an Oscar hungry Leo to keep almost getting there.  Let's face it, Leo not having any Oscars is such a fun talking point.  It makes the Oscars that much more interesting.  Remember how fun it was to talk about LeBron before he had rings?  That's Leo right now. 

Suppose Leo did win an Oscar for the Revenant.  I see only two possible outcomes.  Scenario 1:  Leo wins an Oscar.  He gives a gracious speech about how hard he's worked.  He thanks everyone who was involved with the project.  He gives another speech about the stories of the indigenous.  He continues to make great movies for years to come.  He possibly wins one ore two more Oscars throughout his career.  That sounds good, right?  Well, let's look at scenario 2: Leo wins an Oscar.  He gives a Kanye-esque speech about he's the greatest of all time and the embodiment of art.  Throws a party that goes way over budget.  Begrudgingly agrees to make a Revenant 2.  That movie obviously flops.  It flops harder than Vincent Chase's Medellin.  Already having an Oscar, Leo just gets lazy and stops working for a while until they cut the lights out in his house.  He decides to work for Tidal as Director of Marketing to make some dough while he waits for new projects to find him.  He ultimately decides that Grown Ups 3 is his best option.  Leo plays the new mailman who is trying to steal Sandler's hot wife.  Grown Ups 3 gets nominated for an Academy Award: Achievement in Sound Mixing.  Leo spends the twilight of his career making Lifetime movies.  Is this what we want for Leo?!?  Save Leonardo DiCaprio; don't give him an Oscar.

El Guapo is a talented blogger on the rise, regarded by many as a cross between Homer and Socrates.  Through real life experience and expertise in many facets of life, the Guaps aims to provide readers with unique takes that will enhance the way they think and live.  Keep up with his main blog Infinite Wisdom From El Guapo’s Brain.  NBA fans have to place to go with his basketball blog, Infinite Wisdomon the NBA.  Like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.  Leave comments in the section below.  Stay Guapo out there!

No comments:

Post a Comment