Hey, come on! Oscar voters have actually been generous to Leo DiCaprio

I have heard a lot of members in the Gold Derby forums saying that Leonardo DiCaprio either has been criminally snubbed by the academy or should have plenty more nominations by now. I have read comments from fans moping about how DiCaprio will never get an Oscar since he couldn’t get nominated for “Django Unchained” as if it were the last DiCaprio movie that will ever get made.

It’s starting to irritate me a little bit. DiCaprio has been one of the most successful men in Hollywood, and his fortune at the Oscars should not be overshadowed by his box office draw.

To get an Oscar nomination would certainly be an honor for any actor. To get two nominations is such a rare feat that only 72 living male actors have pulled that off, and to manage three nominations is an accomplishment only 39 living actors have done so. DiCaprio is among this last group, having reaped a trio of bids so far: “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” (1993), “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blood Diamond” (2006).

That’s quite an accomplisment considering that, at age 38, he’s younger than any other male nominated for multiple acting Oscars. Close behind is recent three-time nominee Joaquin Phoenix, who is just two weeks younger than DiCaprio, followed by Jude Law (age 40, two nominations), Jeremy Renner (age 41, two nominations), Matt Damon (age 42, two nominations), Edward Norton (age 43, two nominations), Javier Bardem (age 43, three nominations), Will Smith (age 44, two nominations), Jamie Foxx (age 45, two nominations), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (age 45), who holds the record for the youngest male among four-time nominees.

Of these 10 “junior” multiple nominees, only Bardem, Foxx and Hoffman have ever won, with one trophy apiece.

Related: Why is Leonardo DiCaprio frequently snubbed for Best Picture Oscar nominees?

To say that DiCaprio will never win an Oscar if he hasn’t by now just sounds whiney. What we need to remember is that DiCaprio is still very young, and, as Tom O’Neil has pointed out on numerous occasions, the Oscars aren’t quick to award the young, good-looking male A-list movie stars. They might just be waiting for the “right” role to come along, and he may be in his 50s before the academy realizes he’s overdue, or perhaps once his peers start to make up the larger portion of the voting membership (remember, 86% of Academy voters are over the age of 50, with a median age of 62).

DiCaprio may not be as young as some of this year’s female nominees like Jennifer Lawrence (age 22) or Quvenzhane Wallis (age nine), but academy voters are a bit more welcoming toward younger actresses.

Also, there are many legendary actors and actresses who had to wait until they were older than 38 to win. Like Leo, they had three or more unfruitful Oscar nominations before they finally got around to winning:

  • Vanessa Redgrave was 40 when she won her first Oscar, with her 4th nomination.
  • Laurence Olivier was 41 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination.
  • Susan Hayward was 41 when she won her first Oscar, with her 5th nomination.
  • Dustin Hoffman was 42 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination (and he won another after that).
  • Sean Penn was 43 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination (and he won another after that).
  • Robin Williams was 46 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination.
  • Gregory Peck was 46 when he won his first Oscar, with his 5th nomination.
  • Shirley MacLaine was 49 when she won her first Oscar, with her 5th nomination.
  • Susan Sarandon was also 49 when she won her first Oscar, also with her 5th nomination.
  • Al Pacino was 52 when he won his first Oscar, with his 8th nomination.
  • Robert Duvall was 52 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination.
  • Michael Caine was 53 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination (and he won another after that).
  • Ronald Colman was 56 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination
  • Maureen Stapleton was 56 when she won her first Oscar, with her 4th nomination.
  • Jeff Bridges was 60 when he won his first Oscar, with his 5th nomination.
  • Paul Newman was 61 when he won his first Oscar, with his 7th nomination.
  • Geraldine Page was 61 when she won her first Oscar, with her 8th nomination.
  • Walter Huston was 65 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination.
  • Morgan Freeman was 67 when he won his first Oscar, with his 4th nomination.

We should also remember that DiCaprio (along with other dashing A-list celebrities yet to win an Oscar like Tom CruiseBrad Pitt, and Johnny Depp) is just that: an A-list celebrity who can still command a $20 million per flick paycheck, and can choose just about any film he wants to be in, with multiple opportunities to work with some of the most acclaimed working directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Clint Eastwood, James Cameron, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, and Sam Mendes, just to name a few.

While it can be tempting to say that DiCaprio was snubbed for many film roles (“Marvin’s Room,” “Titanic,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Departed,” “Revolutionary Road,” “Shutter Island,” “Inception,” “J. Edgar” and now “Django Unchained”), he would be tied for the all-time actor nominations record with Jack Nicholson if he had been nominated for all of those roles.

Perhaps more realistically, we should be looking at the impressive number of nominations he has accumulated, and how much of an accomplishment that is for someone his age.

15 thoughts on “Hey, come on! Oscar voters have actually been generous to Leo DiCaprio

  1. I won’t say that Leo deserved nods for seven of the nine other films Daniel has listed here, but he certainly deserved a nod for Django and possibly Revolutionary Road as well. He stole the show in Django. I’m sorry, but he just did. Waltz was wonderful, but he was a lead not supporting. I think he’ll win an Oscar someday, maybe when he is in his fifties or sixties. But I think it’s a shame that crotchedy old Academy members snub younger actors but jump at the opportunity to award young females. It reeks of sexism.

  2. yes Leonardo is young and he will win one day. don’t worry about that. even though he doesn’t have an Oscar yet, he’s the luckiest actor in Hollywood since he’s working with the best directors. and he’s a man. it’s harder for men to get nominated because competition is always very strong, much stronger than in female categories. there is not enough good roles for women, and in most of the cases those roles are “defined by their male counterparts” ( to use Jessica Chastain’s words). young actresses win because male members are majority in Academy and they love beautiful young women and they don’t have much to choose from when it comes to voting for best performances. also actresses have limited shelf life. once they start to get older they are over. it doesn’t apply to Meryl Streep but it does for everyone else.look at Sally Field – when was the last time you saw her in movies recently before Lincoln? and she won two Oscars.

  3. Daniel Boneschansker, I noticed that you wrote elsewhere on this site that DiCaprio was out-acted by Mark Wahlberg in The Departed. That´s a bit Armond White of you, I must say.

  4. Leo is a prime example of how overrated the little gold metal man really is.

    Without an Oscar win Leo :

    Gets first look at top scripts

    Can pick and chose his roles

    Has worked with some of the best directors in the industry

    Commands top salary and the power to negotiate lucrative deals

    Is already one of the most well known actors in the world

    Or in other words, no need to ‘worry or cry any tears for Leo’ Leo is doing just fine 🙂

  5. Leo couldn’t have been nominated for The Departed (or at least Lead Actor) since he was already nominated for Blood Diamond that year.

  6. Jet, you are right, I did mention in the comments section of Daniel Montgomery’s article ‘Why is Leonardo DiCaprio frequently snubbed for Best Picture Oscar nominees?’ that Wahlberg out-acted DiCaprio in ‘The Departed.’

    Here is the original context of my quote: “…poor DiCaprio. How dare his co-stars (Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cate Blanchett, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Shannon, and Christoph Waltz) all out-act him, and steal the show away from him, especially since he deservedly makes more money than all of them combined. Can’t quite understand why the Academy doesn’t nominate him for every movie he puts out, or why they aren’t rushing to give him an award.”

    Perhaps I was being a bit unfair to say DiCaprio was out-acted by Wahlberg in “The Departed,” but I do stand by what I said about Leo being out-acted by Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cate Blanchett, Michael Shannon, and Christoph Waltz, actors who all received more Oscar love for their roles opposite DiCaprio.

    To clump Wahlberg in that list simply because he received an Oscar nomination for “The Departed” over DiCaprio was perhaps not the best reflection of either actor’s performances in the film, but instead a better reflection of category confusion at the Oscars. Jack Nicholson submitted lead at SAG, nominated for supporting at the Globes, and was snubbed at the Oscars. DiCaprio submitted supporting at SAG, was nominated in lead at the Globes, and snubbed at the Oscars. Wahlberg never submitted lead, which resulted in voters knowing exactly which category to vote for him in.

  7. MchRe7, as you said, DiCaprio couldn’t have been nominated for lead for both “The Departed” and “Blood Diamond” in 2006, which is why DiCaprio campaigned his role in “The Departed” as supporting so that he could get nominated in both categories. Not enough voters bought it, and likely split votes for the role among and lead and supporting categories, leaving his role in “The Departed” un-noticed at the Oscars.

  8. Leo is an amazing young actor that obviously makes those OPPOSITE HIM in movies, A BETTER Actor.
    Shouldn’t matter about age…he’s very talented! The type of actor that draws you in. And even tho he has $$$$ he’s an old fashioned guy with respect for his craft.

  9. DiCaprio has never been shortchanged. He didn’t deserve a nom for his mediocre acting in Titanic, for example. Now, maybe he should have won for Gilbert Grape over TLJ’s rather stolid turn in The Fugitive, but please: there have been countless times the wrong nominee won the gold. In terms of NOMINATIONS, the Academy has been generous to Leo. It’s only in terms of WINS that he’s arguably been cheated – but no more so than dozens upon dozens of other actors – look at how long it took Michael Caine or Jeff Bridges to win. Or Peter O’Toole, who never won. These things happen. I predict that the next time DiCaprio gives a truly rivetting performance (I don’t think his work in The Departed or Inception or Shutter Island qualifies), a performance on a par with the best of his youthful early work (from his teens and twenties), he’ll take home the gold.

  10. You can name as many stats as you like, fact is Leo should have won on atleast 3 occasions. If memory serves he was the only person who had anything to do with Titanic that didn’t get nominated! He is continually snubbed. & what about all the fresh faced nobody’s who have won/been nominated eg. Jennifer Hudson, Tatum O’Neil, a young Jodie Foster, Sandra Bullock?? Christ, I think even Beyonce got nominated didn’t she?!

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