Opinion: Oscar year at last for DiCaprio?

Megan L. Brown is a junior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Megan L. Brown

Last week, we had the opportunity to see one of Hollywood’s most tremendous awards shows — the Golden Globes. Many award predictions came true, while others seemed quite shocking. Leonardo DiCaprio had his ninth nomination for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and we witnessed his second Golden Globe win, but the real question remains: Will he win an Academy Award?

The “Titanic” heartthrob was nominated for an Academy Award once again this year for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.  This is his fourth nomination for an Oscar — his first being 20 years ago for the 1993 film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” He was nominated again for his portrayal of Howard Hughes in “The Aviator” and 2006s “Blood Diamond.”

During awards season, we usually see a pattern of winners from the Golden Globes to the Academy Awards, so does DiCaprio stand a chance? Yes. For Leading Actor, DiCaprio is up against Matthew McConaughey, who won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, and that is the true dual. McConaughey even had a small role in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”  Christian Bale, Bruce Dern and Chiwetel Ejiofor are also up for the award.

Even if you haven’t seen “The Wolf of Wall Street,” you can tell from the reviews and dialogue about the film that it’s another masterpiece directed by Martin Scorsese (his fifth movie with DiCaprio). Despite the film being three hours long, DiCaprio gives one of his best performances — his character is raw, wild and thrives in his own greed. Whether his emotion is full of hate or happiness with money earnings, DiCaprio is on spot. Why shouldn’t DiCaprio win an Oscar for this performance? He has the ability to connect to his characters and give meaning to them.  When two people such as Scorsese and DiCaprio collaborate together, you know you are going to get something great that also pushes boundaries.

Last year, we saw DiCaprio as the iconic Jay Gatsby in “The Great Gatsby,” and the reviews weren’t great — I believe this is his point of redemption. There’s no question of his acting ability, but his performance also depends on the environment his character is in, who is directing the film and of course, the storyline. I loved his performance in “The Great Gatsby” even though I prefer the original with Robert Redford. However, that does not change how I feel about this year’s Academy Awards — it’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s time to shine.

We’ve seen him grow as an actor and at 39 years old, he has played many fascinating roles. We all loved him as Jack Dawson in “Titanic,” Romeo in “Romeo + Juliet” and Frank Abagnale Jr. in “Catch Me If You Can.”  Whether or not you enjoy DiCaprio’s acting abilities, it’s about time he won an Oscar.