If you’ve missed the whole circus around Leonardo DiCaprio and Academy Awards, I can only say you’ve missed something strange and something beautiful. Leonardo DiCaprio – renowned star of films like Titanic, The Aviator, Catch Me if You Can and Inception to mention a few films – is one of those well known and critically acclaimed actors who have yet to win an Academy Award in spite of decades of service to the industry.
What’s unique about the case of Leo DiCaprio is the cult following that has arisen around the fact that he never manages to grab those awards – a cult following that went insane anew after he failed to win won again this time around, in spite of being nominated twice for The Wolf of Wall Street.
DiCaprio’s Oscar History
DiCaprio was first nominated for an Academy Award twenty years ago, as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1994 film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in which he acted alongside Johnny Depp. Needless to say he didn’t win, in spite of critics claiming he was a perfect candidate for his acting as Arnie, the mentally handicapped brother of Depp’s character.
His first nomination for the prestigious Best Actor award was almost a decade later, for The Aviator in 2005, followed by Blood Diamond in 2007 and, this year, The Wolf of Wall Street. At the same time, he has been part of films garnering a great deal of attention at the Oscars – both Titanic and The Departed won Best Picture, and five more films he starred in were nominated, including The Wolf of Wall Street for which he was a producer.
The Internet Craze
The earliest known example of any media attention questioning why DiCaprio kept almost winning an Oscar was in an E! Online article in 2011. In early 2012 a number of GIFs started spreading showing DiCaprio looking sad at various awards ceremonies, even though a number of them weren’t even shot at the Academy Awards. Meme images started spreading, with the general theme of DiCaprio constantly longing for an Oscar and constantly being disappointed.
There has also been a similar meme which points out how a number of his roles have suffered, such as his character in Titanic drowning. According to the Internet, DiCaprio just can’t catch a break – a theme which continued as the 2014 Academy Awards aired, and of course the web went crazy again after it was revealed he didn’t win. Not to mention the craze before that, as one commenter pointed out – “tonight one thing will happen to liven up the net – either Leonardo wins an Oscar, or he doesn’t win an Oscar.”
But Why is DiCaprio Singled Out?
Leonardo DiCaprio is far from the only famous or well renowned actor to never win an Oscar, though. There are a number of actors who most people would probably just assume won an Oscar but who haven’t – Tom Cruise, Amy Adams, and Samuel L. Jackson to mention a few. If we step away from actors we get even more interesting examples, including the famous Alfred Hitchcock who, in spite of landing five nominations never won a single Academy Award in his half-century of service.
That said, one reason why DiCaprio is often singled out is because of the extreme popularity of some of his films, with extreme examples such as Titanic or Inception – renowned by critics and seen by virtually all of the Western world. In the case of Titanic he wasn’t even nominated, which is quite impressive as the movie was nominated for fourteen Oscars – a tied record at the time – and won eleven. Does DiCaprio deserve to win one? I don’t think there’s a lot of people questioning that. But will he? I guess time will tell.