There has never been a more elusive love story than Leonardo DiCaprio and the Oscars. Widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of this generation, DiCaprio has demonstrated his impeccable range of acting across genres and roles. Having won his first Oscar nomination at the age of 20 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, the actor has since then become a global icon and one of the most recognizable actors in the industry. Leonardo DiCaprio rose to stardom after his critically acclaimed performance in James Cameron’s Titanic (1999) and has since then worked with some of the greatest directors of the industry. However, despite his methodical approach towards the craft, the Oscars eluded him for a long time before finally coming to his grasp for his role in The Revenant (2015). His recent performance in the apocalyptic black comedy Don’t Look Up was once again critically acclaimed. But unfortunately, the actor failed to land a nomination this time. Here are 6 times when Leonardo DiCaprio was snubbed by the Oscars:
6. The Aviator
Though DiCaprio’s first collaboration with Martin Scorsese was in Gangs of New York, the actor revealed his true range in The Aviator. Based on the real-life business magnate and aviation pilot Howard Hughes, The Aviator is an epic biographical drama showcasing the life of Hughes and his subsequent fall. A larger-than-life character, portraying Hughes’ obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) on the silver screen was no feat that DiCaprio played effortlessly. Unfortunately, the actor was up against an equally breathtaking performance by Jamie Foxx (Ray) who eventually bagged home the award.
5. Catch Me If You Can
On the surface, Catch Me If You Can feels like a breezy, con-movie based on the real-life con-man Frank Abagnale. But DiCaprio’s effortless performance as he switches between different professions is a testament to remarkable acting. Interestingly, the actor had to also work on Scorsese’s Gangs of New York simultaneously as the two movies were being directed during the same time period, which makes it even more awe-inspiring. Sadly, Leonardo DiCaprio did not win any nomination for his performance that year.
4. The Departed
Having previously starred in two Scorsese films, The Departed marked the third collaboration between DiCaprio and the legendary filmmaker. An experimental movie on the director’s part that catered more to the commercial box office, The Departed was surprising for multiple reasons. The movie marked the first win as Best Director for Scorsese. But more surprisingly, DiCaprio did not get a nomination for his performance as an undercover cop. Instead, he received a nomination for his performance in Blood Diamond.
3. Shutter Island
Marking his fourth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island once again unleashed DiCaprio’s impeccable acting range as in this subversive thriller. As the movie starts off with a simple premise of two U.S. Marshals traveling to an asylum on Shutter Island to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a woman, the story rapidly progresses into a psychological thriller where DiCaprio shines throughout in this harrowing tale.
2. The Wolf of Wall Street
The biographical drama of Jordan Belfort packed in an R-rated black comedy directed by Martin Scorsese is a wet dream for cinephiles. But to elevate this real-life story required some serious acting which Leonardo DiCaprio delivered with unimaginable ease. Filled with iconic scenes, the actor quite possibly reached his crescendo with The Wolf of Wall Street. But sadly, it competed with an equally, if not better performance by Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club which went on to win the award that year.
1. Django Unchained
Having worked with most of the finest filmmakers of this era, a collaboration with Quentin Tarantino was long-awaited. In Django Unchained, DiCaprio played the role of a slave trader and plantation owner. As the actor’s first major antagonist role, he surely brought in his A-game with his raw aggression and the good ol’ Southern Charm with Calvin J. Candie. His chameleon-like ability to incorporate Tarantino’s black comedy with gruesome barbarism was a sight to behold throughout the movie. Sadly, DiCaprio lost the Best Supporting Role to Christopher Waltz, who played the role of Dr. King Schultz in the same movie.