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What Is Leonardo DiCaprio's Greatest Movie Performance?

By: Christopher Campbell on December 27, 2013 at 9:31AM Comments (6)

Two filmmakers have done a lot of good for Leonardo DiCaprio's career by casting him in multiple memorable roles. Baz Luhrman shot the actor into real teen-hearthrob territory with Romeo and Juliet, and Martin Scorsese helped him mature his talent and transition into an adult movie star with films like Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island and The Departed.

This year DiCaprio got to work with both of these directors again, Luhrman on The Great Gatsby and Scorsese on this week's new release The Wolf of Wall Street. Either one of them could easily land him his fourth Oscar nomination and maybe even a win, finally, depending on the Academy's reception of the performances and the divisive films they're in.

DiCaprio's initial Oscar nod came early on (before he played Shakespeare with Luhrman) with a supporting role as Johnny Depp's mentally handicapped brother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Eleven years later, he earned his first recognition for lead performance with The Aviator, and in 2007 he followed that with another lead nomination for Blood Diamond, where he did a decent job pulling off a Southern African accent.

Other exceptional performances that should have garnered him Academy Award attention include Revolutionary Road, Django Unchained and -- looking back -- maybe even Titanic. He was nominated for Golden Globes for all of these, by the way. He has been nominated 10 times for that award, including this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, and he won for The Aviator.

Any underrated films you think he deserves more acknowledgement for? He's really underrated in his sorta meta role as a young star in Woody Allen's Celebrity. He exhibits a terrific mix of his boyish and grown-up attributes in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can. Christopher Nolan fans might think he's best in Inception. And there are definitely some who still favor his early work in The Basketball Diaries

This week we polled Twitter users for their pick for DiCaprio's greatest movie performance so far (that's movie performance, so sorry Growing Pains fans). Here are the varied results followed by a handful of select tweets:


Django Unchained: 4
The Aviator: 3
The Departed: 2
Shutter Island: 2
The Wolf of Wall Street: 1
The Basketball Diaries: 1
Catch Me if You Can: 1
Blood Diamond: 1
Critters 3: 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (6)Leave a Comment

  • Jan 24th 2014 9:45AM

    bmccallum  said...

    The truth is Leo has never turned in anything but stellar performances, in my opinion. And the fact that he's never been given an Academy Award is just a sad comment on the Academy. I think he should get a special award for his whole body of work, but it's probably too soon for that. I couldn't pick a favorite if I tried.

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  • Jan 3rd 2014 3:24PM

    cmh1103  said...

    what's eating Gilbert grape is by far the best role I've seen L.C. play. although Gatsby had a great set and costumes, it really didn't show L.C.'s true talent. In The Wolf...., he played the role well, but the movie was so bad and so long, it took away from the role.

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  • Jan 3rd 2014 7:12AM

    carolowe77  said...

    of course Gilbert Grape was an exceptional performance one he had to reach way outside of the box for. I am a huge Leonardo fan especially when he can show us his diversity in rolls. I felt he was hot, vulnerable and sexy in the Departed and I can watch him in that roll over and over again. Clever in Catch me if you can, and intimidating in Django Unchained. Those are my 3 most favaorite films of Leonardo. I did see the Wolf of Wall street. Entertaining, especially the Ludes scene for Leonardo and although Jonah Hill's charactor much like the old Jerry Lewis charactor was a strange contrast to the film it was still entertaining but Martin you need to shorten up your films dude, why drag out a good story to bordom. Editor please?

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  • Jan 3rd 2014 3:27PM

    cmh1103  said...

    complete agreement on the length of that movie, déjà go was much better, and even it was too long!

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  • Dec 28th 2013 3:59PM

    Javajive  said...

    Extremely talented/gifted Actor Leonardo DiCaprio: really like his performance acting skills in basically all his movies particularly the movie(s) INCEPTION, Gilbert Grape (w/Johnny Depp). Catch Me If You Can, etc.,. to name a few.

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  • Dec 28th 2013 9:00AM

     said...

    Titanic

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