Leonardo Di Caprio’s Best Performances
He’s finally done it, people. Leonardo Di Caprio has churned out that one incredible performance to net him his first Oscar. I mean, we all know how talented the guy is. But winning his first Best Actor Oscar cements his legacy as one of the best to ever do it. How it took this long is beyond me. But this is a time of celebration, and what better way to celebrate than to take a look at Leo’s best performances ever, including his Oscar-winning outing as Hugh Glass!
1What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
ARNIE GRAPE. One of the earlier roles Leo had in his career is one of his best. A 19-year-old Leo takes on a role that shows his range as an actor. Arnie is the mentally disabled little brother of Johnny Depp’s Gilbert Grape. Leo’s portrayal of someone mentally challenged was received so well due to the realism he brought to the role. He was convincing, to say the least. This role earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
HOWARD HUGHES. In his second collaboration with Martin Scorsese, Leo plays the pioneer of aviation and successful movie producer, Howard Hughes, in a biopic spanning two decades of his life. It was in this role that Leo finally shed his teeny-bopper Titanic look and become a bona fide leading man. He showed amazing versatility, detailing Hughes’ progression from successful eccentric to madman recluse. Leo earned his first Best Actor nomination for this role.
BILLY COSTIGAN. A personal favorite of mine, The Departed wowed me with an ensemble cast that all delivered on their performances. Leo plays Billy Costigan, a cop deep undercover. This movie is arguably the best Scorsese-DiCaprio collaboration, as Leo shows great depth to convey to Costigan’s deteriorating mental state the longer he stays secret. Though he was not nominated for this role, Leo was riveting throughout, more so (to me) than Matt Damon or even Jack Nicholson. The Departed, Best Picture winner in 2006, is one the best gangster films I’ve seen, and it’s certainly something I would recommend over and over.
4The Wolf of Wall Street
JORDAN BELFORT. Again, Leo delivers another fantastic performance under the direction of Martin Scorsese. The Wolf of Wall Street is the story of the rise and fall of stockbroker Jordan Belfort. This is Leonardo Di Caprio at his most outrageous and charming. The Wolf of Wall Street is long, but it doesn’t feel so given how engrossing Leonardo Di Caprio is as Belfort. He sells the shenanigans in the film as though he does enjoy partying excessively and taking whatever sort of drugs he can. DiCaprio as Belfort was well-received and earned him another Best Actor nomination in 2014.
HUGH GLASS. Leonardo Di Caprio won the big one with this role in The Revenant, and deservedly so. The other nominees were outstanding this year, but it was really Leo’s award to lose. His role as Hugh Glass showed true commitment, despite filming in such harsh conditions. Though he didn’t speak much in this role, it was Leo’s body language and facial expressions that really sold it. It was his performance that really complemented the expert direction and beautiful cinematography and made The Revenant such a compelling film that deserved all the plaudits. .