Let’s not kid ourselves – Leo doesn’t deserve to win an Oscar
I’m sorry but The Revenant is un-bear-able
The camera zooms in on a tuxedo-clad Leonardo DiCaprio, his hands clasped, fingers pressed to his lips, eyes slightly squinting as he watches the stage. Julianne Moore, in a sedate aquamarine gown, unpicks the envelope with a rouge fingernail, takes a deep breath and says it: “Leonardo DiCaprio”. The room erupts into chaos – Leo’s triumphant fists shoot up in the air. Rising from his seat, he is kissed on the cheek by whichever 19-year-old supermodel he’s brought, nods respectfully at Bryan Cranston, high-fives Matt Damon on the way past, glides up the stairs to the podium and embraces Moore. A single tear forms in his eye when his trembling fingers close around the gold statuette.
When he’s stood there, the world watching, unfolding the speech which has been in that tuxedo pocket for 22 years, about to thank the crew, his family, Native Americans and environmentalists, do you think Leonardo DiCaprio will think to himself “at last. I deserve this”?
I hope not – because he doesn’t.
Let’s face the facts: The Revenant is average. I went to see it about a month ago, a couple of weeks after it came out. I sat in the front row and marvelled at a lot: the sound editing was magnificent, the scenic shots of the wilderness were breathtaking. In many respects it’s a decent film, typical Oscar-bait fare, and is certainly a more deserving Best Picture nominee than some of the other films in that category (don’t get me started on Mad Max: Fury Road). But looking around the cinema, which was packed to the rafters, I saw audience members fiddling with their coats, whispering to each other, not drawn into the narrative – hardly the kind of compulsion you expect when viewing an “Oscar-worthy” performance. It then occurred to me that I was looking around the cinema, rather than watching the film, and I realized I had something in common with the coat-fiddlers and the whisperers: we were all bored out of our minds.
I can’t help but feel we were all drawn into that cinema for the same reason – because we are all perverts who wanted to see Leo getting raped by a bear. As soon as the first Daily Mail article dropped in December, selling the ardour and adversity the cast and crew put themselves through, I thought to myself “I must see this film”. Unfortunately, what follows the bear is incredibly dull. It’s a man dragging himself home from work, a protracted two-hour version of the Lemmon drug phase scene from The Wolf of Wall Street. I drag myself home from work every day and no-one’s nominated me for shit.
Leonardo DiCaprio is an excellent, diverse actor, with a portfolio full of electric performances – that’s why the Internet is so obsessed with his lack of plaudits. His Jordan Belfort, his Calvin Candie, his Jack Dawson, hell, even his Frank Abagnale Jr, are all Oscar-worthy roles. It’s pretty apparent, to me at least, that his Hugh Glass isn’t fit to shine those characters’ shoes. Sure, it’d be great to see Leo finally grab a gold man – he is everyone’s favorite white guy after all – but this isn’t the performance that warrants it. In 50 years when he’s sat in his armchair in the living room of his Los Angeles mansion, being brought leek and potato soup by another 19-year-old supermodel, he’ll stare at that single statuette on his mantelpiece and pang with guilt. Maybe he’ll fall from his chair, and slowly drag himself along the floor towards it, trying in vain to knock it off, over the space of two hours.
At least we won’t have to watch.