Prediction: Leo DiCaprio will pounce as the wolf of Oscar night

Yes, I know, I know, 24 of the 25 Experts posting their predictions at Gold Derby say Matthew McConaughey will win Best Actor, but go ahead and growl. I proclaim it anyway: Leonardo DiCaprio will pounce as the wolf of Oscar night.

Other pundits don’t see it coming because they’re making faulty assumptions. First off, they say that McConaughey has already won “everything” this derby season, so therefore he’s a cinch to keep on trotting. Not true. He didn’t win the New York and L.A. film critics’ awards, as expected. Yes, he won the Golden Globe, but so did Leo – in that separate category for Best Comedy/Musical Actor.

McConaughey won SAG and Leo wasn’t nominated there, true – but Leo was overlooked for the same reason Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained“) was snubbed last year. Their movies were released too late to be seen by all members of the SAG nominating committee. As you may recall, that didn’t hurt Waltz one bit. He went on to snag the Oscar and I was one of only 5 out of 27 Experts at Gold Derby who predicted it would happen.

Bottom line is this: McConaughey and Leo haven’t yet competed against each at a major award show. We haven’t had a chance to see if Leo can take McConaughey down in a fair fight, so you shouldn’t assume that he can’t.

We’re not going to learn much this weekend at BAFTA because McConaughey isn’t nominated there. Neither is Jared Leto. Studio folks say that “Dallas Buyers’ Club” opened too late in U.K. for it to get widely seen by voters. Hmmm … isn’t that the same thing that happened to “The Wolf of Wall Street” at the SAG Awards?

It’s possible that we’ll see evidence of Leo’s Oscar potential this weekend if he wins BAFTA, but, even if he loses, I don’t think that hurts him much at the Academy Awards. Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) has a secret edge at BAFTA: he’s British.

In the end, I think Leo has run a much smoother and more aggressive Oscar campaign. He’s everywhere behind the scenes at industry events – most recently at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, guild awards (ACE Eddies and Art Directors), Oscar luncheon – always with Marty Scorsese at his side, which bolsters his prestige factor. Leo’s getting his message across with subtlety and class – he’s a veteran overdue for this gold. And he’s keeping a jaunty sense of humor, too, by doing stints like “Saturday Night Live.”

To which I add this: Leo is arguably the biggest movie star in the world giving the biggest performance of his career in the most talked-about film of the year. That looks like Oscar to me.

Lastly, on screen in this “Wall Street,” Leo looks a lot like the star of the previous “Wall Street” 25 years ago – Michael Douglas, Oscar’s Best Actor of 1987.

Don’t you dare steal my prediction. I want to own this all alone on Oscar night when I’m proven to be correct.

49 thoughts on “Prediction: Leo DiCaprio will pounce as the wolf of Oscar night

  1. A great article with many logical points! Leonardo DiCaprio has indeed given the greatest performance of his career in Wolf of Wall Street. However, I’m predicting Chiwetel Ejiofor to win because 12 Years A Slave is my most favorite movie of 2013.

  2. I finally agree on something that Tom has posted… LOL right now I would say that it is close race between Leo and MM… but I am going to wait to see how this Sunday’s Bafta awards play out… I am predicting Chiwetel to win there but I wouldn’t be surprised if Leo wins… If Chiwetel wins sunday, it will be a three way race, if Leo prevails, I am going to switch MM to number 2 and move Leo to the first position

  3. Tom I could not agree more, I have this same gut feeling when I predicted Tilda Swinton, Marcia Gay Harden, and Christoph Waltz (last year). There is something about his role/the way he has been campaigning that is too hard to ignore, along the lines of Raging Bull. I think the film has more broad support than expected.

    My only hesitation, and this may be an odd one is the Editing nomination for Dallas, and not Wolf, does that make sense?

  4. While I enjoyed this movie, it hardly deserves this much success, many other movies have really helped to push the medium forward this year and are being missed-out on because High School and College boys have declared Belfort their new Hero unfortunately. We can do better

  5. Wolf of Wall street is a 3 hour sausage and sexist feast made for teenage and early 20’s frat boys or males who are at that level of immaturity .
    And of course since its Martin Scorsse the MPAA brought the rating down from NC-17 to R so all the 15 year old boys can see the film, glorify it and repeat lines from it. Big whoop that a woman in her 70’s wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s not made for most women regardless of their age nor for mature men (for the love of Christ just look at the first line in the movie; put your dick back in your pants). The women in the film are nothing but props and sex objects. If this movie had Michael Bay’s name as the director (same exact movie) no high minded critics would be defending it as though it’s high art. It’s brainless teenage boy entertainment. Here’s an idea. . .let’s celebrate progress not excess.

  6. is this movie doing anything new? At this point, “white Wall Street
    conmen experience meteoric rise and disgraceful plummet, as accompanied
    by prostitutes and drugs; cause us to question our own social values”
    isn’t new ground to tread. In a year where we had some pretty cool and
    unusual things happening in mainstream cinema (an animated “princess”
    movie where the most important relationship was between two sisters, a
    space thriller whose face was a middle-aged woman, a high-grossing
    action movie starring a young woman, a sci-fi blockbuster where 2/3
    leads were NOT white men, a female buddy-cop movie), this just
    seems….tired.
    And honestly, nothing in this movie asks any questions that haven’t
    been asked a million times, in similar explorations. (as a matter a
    fact, Marty did it even better a few decades ago with Goodfellas.)

  7. @ Kevin Dillon, I am no editing expert but to me it’s hard to recognize editing for a film that is SO long and has little mistakes all over. The editing seemed rushed to me. Multiple scenes have issues. The scene in the diner where Leo is talking but his mouth isn’t moving. Scenes where objects in the room seem to move from one frame to the next. Things like being able to see the underwear of his supposedly “commando” wife. There were a lot of editing “flubs” in this film.

    As for Leo, I’m tempted. I did enjoy this film and his performance. I hate Dallas Buyers Club. I would love to see them lose everything.

  8. I think Leonardo di caprio could win, he’s Been nominated 3-4 times i Believe is his time even though matthew gives the best performance this year, i think it could go Either way

  9. I can see where Matthew McConaugheymay be vulnerable. He is the only one of the acting front runners who was not recognized by a major critics group. Cate Blanchett NYFC, LAFC, NSFC. Jared Leto NYFC, LAFC. Lupita Nyong’o LAFC, NSFC. And Leo Di Caprio does have the overdue factor as a 5 time nominee.

  10. And that is why I love you, Tom! You are brave and fearless, just like Leo is in his awesome performance in the Wolf of Wall Street! I happened to catch the movie again this last weekend – more than 6 weeks after it opened and the movie theater was packed. The movie and Leo’s performance have stuck with the average moviegoer, despite the initial backlash. I have been predicting Leo myself since the very beginning – because I am a fan and because I don’t think that Dallas Buyer’s Club will win 3 Oscars while TWOWS will get none. Leo is taking this baby! He deserves it too! 🙂

  11. God I hope Leo wins! I’m glad you see my perspective as well Tom. The odds may not exactly be in Leo’s hands but I’m seeing him dominate the race. My money’s on Leo! Fingers crossed until they open the envelope.

  12. If his comments about the protagonist being a shining light of hard work and determination get wide scale play, voters will see that WOWS is not a comedy, but a tribute to greed and classlessness. Hopefully, it and Leo go down in flames.

  13. I have a gut feeling that this is Leo’s year too. He was brilliant in WoWS, and I was hesitant to watch that film because of the topic of corrupt and callous greed. Plus, Leonardo is the textbook definition of overdue. Just give it to him already!

  14. I just don’t see it happening. But I’m pretty biased. While I thought the Quaalude scene was a pretty good comic performance, overall I’m just not crazy about the film. I would like to see Leonardo DiCaprio win for a film with more gravitas, and for a more dignified role.

  15. This is something that I stated in another section of the website with one exception. My reason on why I thought Di Caprio would win is because in the entire Oscar history only once has the Actor and supporting actor award gone to actors within the same movie that did not go on to win Best Picture. This occurrence happened in 2003 with Sean Penn and Tim Robbins where Mystic River did not win Best Picture. As this will be the case for Dallas Buyers Club, I find the supporting actor Oscar going to Leto that appears to be more of a lock than Matt McConaughey. The only way I can see Matt winning is if Leto loses to a surprise win in that category that I really find to be unlikely.

  16. That statistic is riduiculous, and so is this sudden groundswell for DiCaprio. Leo was great, he always is. But Ron Woodruff was written with OSCAR all over it, and McConoughey delivered and then some. He has way too much support (count the critics and awards) and his momentum will not be stopped by the same minority who were predicting Leo as Best Actor before WOWS premiered.

  17. This year Leo has two nominations Best Actor and Producer Best Picture Nominee WOW. The film has grossed more than $100 million domestically and Leo hasn’t ever won an Oscar. He is considered past due by many and his speeches at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice were well received. DBC is suffering from some backlash over the creation of characters and omitting Ron’s sister and daughter from the script. Its time for Academy Voters to spice it up and not be predictable. It would be fun to see Leo win for the best performance of his career and to see his former Catch Me If You Can co-star Amy Adams win Best Actress for American Hustle.

  18. In the critics choice awards, the category for comedy is a sepearte one and the best actor category is for all performances including comedy….

  19. I actually could see DiCaprio winning, which I would love! I hate it when people say “oh he should win cos he is overdue one”, thats bullshit! Oscars shouldn’t be given out based on their full body of work and past credits, it should be judged solely on whose performance was best that year. And going by that, I would say that out of the five nominees, DiCaprio or McConaughey should win. So no either way, I’ll be happy! Although, I still think the best performance this year was Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, but he wasn’t even nominated 🙁

  20. Thanks Tom O’Neal, you just made my day! Ever since i saw the trailer to WOWS I’ve been hoping that Leo will finally win. And now that I read your article, my hope gets stronger and stronger. And btw, it makes me sick whenever I hear somebody say: “It’s about time for Matthew.” NOO! It’s about time for Leo!

  21. People think Matt or Chiwetel will win because they gave drama performances with “Oscar written all over it” but Leo has done drama his whole career and now did comedy and knocked it out of the park and then some! All you have to say is “The Quaalude Scene”–that thing was an instant classic! I think of your comedic performance stands out amongst drama then you can give the other nominees a run for their money. That’s one of the reasons I’m on Leo’s side. That and my man is so overdue! No one else gets the annoying “where is your Oscar” joke more than he does and when he wins they’ll finally shut up! Everyone wants Leo to win. Also Leo gives the most eloquent speeches when he has the opportunity. I can’t wait for that standing ovation when he WINS. He WILL win. Don’t take the easy way out Derbyites. Don’t just go with the odds.

  22. All of you citing sexism are not reading the text properly, Scorsese is not celebrating these men. Does the box office matter? Wolf is over 100 million, and gaining more momentum now, while Dallas is only at 22, no BAFTA nominations…..

    My other question/thought is does two acting wins happen for Dallas?

  23. Another statistic to factor in: it is ultra rare for two actors to win for the same movie when said movie is not nominated for Best Directing. The only actors to get away with it since the creation of the supporting categories are: David Niven and Wendy Hiller for ‘Separate Tables’ (1958), Burt Lancaster and Shirley Jones for ‘Elmer Gantry’ (1960) and Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt for ‘As Good as It Gets’ (1997). Only the first pair were for Lead and Supporting; Nicholson and Hunt were both in the Lead categories.

  24. I don’t think so Tom unfortunately. And it is sad because is a new career high I think for Dicaprio. Since 2003 the critics choice actor winners are the same as the oscar winner (except for Dujardin). The fact that Leo won in the comedy actor makes it slighly better for him but not being nominated in the best actor of critics choice does not help him. It could happen but if there was someone to beat McCounaghey is Bruce Dern as he is the old one that might never get another chance. Leo is going to have another opportunity and I think voters are waiting for the right time to award him like they did with kate winslet

  25. Can Leo win? Yeah. Will he? Maybe.
    The comparison re BAFTA with DBC isn’t apt at all, though – it didn’t open “too late” like WOWS with the SAGs. It opened LAST WEEK – a 2014 film as far as BAFTA is concerned.

    Leo the “biggest movie star in the world”? Um … one of, maybe. That’s as far as it goes.

    Chiwetel Ejiofor is the most deserving of all of them. McConaughey has the most heat. If Leo’s a long-deserving veteran, what about Bruce Dern? He trumps Leo there.

    I think this is a race that’s open to a surprise, but I don’t think LDC is the guaranteed surprise.

  26. Rope of silicon and huffing ton post both have articles that they would love it if Leonardo dicaprio wins. Oprah at the critics choice awards red carpet commended Leonardo on his performance, Jared Leto tweeted about Leonardo. The academy should reward the best and surprise all you pundits, except you Tom.

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