Will a Less Serious DiCaprio Get His First Oscar Win?

LeonardoDiCaprio_WolfofWallStreetThe trailer debuted for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street from Paramount Pictures and starring Leonardo DiCaprioJonah Hill, and Matthew McConaughey. Of the many things that the trailer showed which included a scene stealing McConaughey, a lighter toned Scorsese, but most importantly a less uptight and fun-having Leonardo DiCaprio.

With three Oscar nominations to his credit, DiCaprio is still a one of our most talented actors working today. Following his last nomination for Blood Diamond (2006), DiCaprio has seemed to pigeon-hole himself into what seemed like the same, dreary, and mentally disturbed man. Were they bad performances? Not by any means. Shutter Island (2010) was one of the forgotten gems of that awards year and Revolutionary Road (2008) was the most misunderstood films of the its awards year.

Courtesy of PopSugar.com
Courtesy of PopSugar.com

There were some very promising moments seen in the trailer.  A dancing Leo, charismatic as ever, pounding and humming along with Matthew McConaughey bring an abundance of fun.  The big question is, will DiCaprio nab his Oscar this year?  Already on a bit of a disadvantage, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby has come and gone in the blink of an eye before the summer even really gears up.  With Bruce Dern likely to get the supporting push for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, the road may be paved for a DiCaprio acceptance speech in March 2014.  Assuming it lives up to its Scorsese prestige, The Wolf of Wall Street looks to be a period piece with wit and charm that audiences can get behind.  Will Oscar get behind it?  That remains to be seen.

Staff Writer Terence loves to say, DiCaprio fell into the “dead wives club” over the past few years.  Seemingly delivering the same performance after performance, not offering anything new to his filmography, DiCaprio seemed in a rut.  When he did step out of the box in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012), it was co-star Christoph Waltz that reaped all the benefits.

The career of DiCaprio hasn’t been all peachy in terms of critical acceptance. His notice for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), one of my favorite performances of his ever, showed him as a force of young actors. The tween following probably put him in a box that he didn’t break open until Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator (2004). During his early career, I constantly heard from colleagues, friends, and general people who would say  “Leo isn’t growing up.” He didn’t seem to age in a way though is acting was clearly maturing. For many, it was hard to take Leo seriously in a “man’s” role that called him to look older than 21 years old. Prime examples are Gangs of New York (2002) and though he was nominated, The Aviator (2004) took a lot of imagination for people to accept Leo as a forty-year old Howard Hughes. It wasn’t until Scorsese’s Oscar-winning The Departed (2006) that people started looking at Leo as a matured man. Visceral, committed, and convincing as the undercover cop Billy, DiCaprio showed all his acting chops in the contemporary crime drama.

Next round of Oscar Predictions, you might see Leonardo DiCaprio at #1 in Best Actor.  Does McConaughey join the Supporting Actor race?  Early word suggests his role is small but damn was that bit in the trailer memorable.

As we await official reviews to drop, let’s talk about Leo’s chances this year.  Do you think this is the year for him?