What’s more important: winning a heavy gold-plated statue, or consistently delivering outstanding performances and proving your skill as an actor? I would argue the latter, but to many, the former appears to be of the utmost importance, particularly when it comes to Leonardo DiCaprio.
The recent release of an online game called ‘Leo’s Red Carpet Rampage‘ has made it abundantly clear just how hilarious the world finds DiCaprio’s lack of an Oscar. The game itself buys into this joke, allowing players to take DiCaprio on a red carpet adventure, with the ultimate goal being to get his hands on that highly coveted prize.
We’ve all had a laugh or several at the ‘no Oscar for Leo’ memes, and expressed year after year our greatest wish that the now five-time Academy Award nominee finally take home the top prize. But I get the feeling that the world wants this more than Leo. For some reason, we’ve gotten it in our heads that the man himself will crumble and drown in his own tears if he continues to lose. But let’s look at the facts: in every single film he makes, whether spectacular or kind of average, Leo always delivers. The man can act.
I have to wonder why people hold the Oscars in such high regard. It could be that we’ve been taught to sit up and pay attention whenever a film’s marketing leans heavily on the fact that it stars an Academy Award winner, or that the Academy itself is a sacred and exclusive Hollywood institution that supposedly separates the greats from the rest. It’s an elite club that’s without a doubt exciting to be part of, and being invited to join is meant to be a huge honour. But isn’t it a tad shady that members can simply skip watching any nominated films and just vote for who they think deserves it?
But I’m getting off-topic here. The fact is that the Academy isn’t quite the authority on ‘what’s best’ as it makes itself out to be. As far as I’m concerned, the only opinion that matters is that of the audience. They spend hard-earned money on tickets, buy the DVDs, scour the internet for memorabilia, and obsess over new trailers and posters.
Here’s another fact: DiCaprio’s perceived excellence and the legacy he’ll eventually leave behind isn’t contingent on him winning an Oscar. We all know he’s the best at what he does. As far as I see it, in 10, 20, or even 50 years’ time, it will be his consistently brilliant and committed performances that will be remembered. Oscars are heavy but they can break. However, if you have the undying love of millions of cinemas goers around the world, that’s the real award.