It has become a running gag at just how unlucky Leonardo DiCaprio has been at the Academy Awards. Every year, he gives another great performance in another great film and we wonder if this will finally be the one that earns him that elusive win. But lately, the more important question is whether he will even be nominated.
This year, he has already headlined the spring hit “The Great Gatsby” and stars in the eagerly-anticipated “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The latter marks his fifth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, for whom he headlined the 2006 Best Picture champ “The Departed” which finally won the director an Oscar.
The last of his three Oscar bids was back in 2006. He was snubbed for 2008’s “Revolutionary Road,” despite earning a Globe nomination. 2010 saw his two biggest commercial successes since 2002’s “Catch Me if You Can,” with Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” but no Oscar recognition for either.
Things were looking up in 2011 when he played a closeted-gay CIA director in Clint Eastwood’s biopic “J. Edgar.” The role sounded like such blatant Oscar bait that it was hilariously spoofed by Funny or Die in the fake trailer “L. DiCaprio.” Indeed, DiCaprio was an early Best Actor frontrunner. But while he reaped Globe and SAG nominations for the role, he was snubbed at the Oscars in favor of Demián Bichir — best known for a recurring role in television’s “Weeds” — for “A Better Life,” an independent film that grossed less than a fifth of its budget.
Last year, it looked promising as DiCaprio appeared in a film without top billing for the first time in more than a decade, thus allowing him to campaign in the traditionally less-competitive supporting category. For playing a villain in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”, he earned his eighth Globe nomination and won the National Board of Review prize. But he was overlooked by the Oscars. That marked the fifth time that he had appeared in a Best Picture contender but gone without a nomination himself.
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